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24th September 2018

Innovation Hubs for Smart Technologies in Logistics, Construction and Engineering

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A feasibility study for two dedicated innovation hubs in the London Borough of Havering

Havering Borough Council has commissioned Urban Foresight to define opportunities for two new innovation hubs to boost employment and productivity in logistics, construction and engineering.

The hubs should create the right facilities, knowledge and expertise to play a key role in innovating, improving and enhancing people’s lives, businesses and public services. They are envisaged to be centres for innovation that maximise the advantages of the resources and expertise available through cross-sector collaboration.

The first hub will focus on logistics excellence, using latest technologies in robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, the Internet of Things, and virtual reality. The logistics hub will service the expansion of Heathrow airport, with components of the airport pre-assembled before being transported in consolidated loads.

The second hub will support businesses in the construction and engineering sectors, providing access to the latest technology and developing a digitally-driven manufacturing approach to built assets.

Both Hubs will also help to craft a smarter city by developing a local collaborative economy across education, business and the public sectors, which will have the potential for localised solution to improving access to digital and smart infrastructure.  They will also host a development centre for new technology, a home for start-ups and entrepreneurs, and training facilities that complement the facilities at Havering College.

Over the coming months, Urban Foresight’s consultants will undertake a feasibility study with a set of recommendations on how best to progress the hubs. This includes defining a vision for the hubs, and the skills and resources that could be used to support their development.

Our team will undertake initial financial modelling and cost estimation to enable the Council to weigh up different cost scenarios and approaches to identifying potential income sources.

We have also been tasked to understand to define the governance requirements and review the current level of knowledge within the partner organisations.

A key outcome of this work will be to support a successful application to the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund.