These 15 UK smart city startups are heading on a trade mission to Barcelona

Lynsey Barber
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Winter Lights Exhibition At Canary Wharf
Smart cities are expected to soon be a billion-pound business (Source: Getty)

City Hall will seek to reassure business and investors abroad that London is open for business after the Brexit vote when top startups head on a trade mission to Barcelona.

Some 15 of the top startups creating technology that seeks to make cities smarter and more connected, as well as solving problems such as pollution, population and transport, are heading to the Smart City Expo World Congress in the Spanish city with Sadiq Khan's deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal this week.

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Startups include parking app JustPark, SpaceHive, a platform for civic crowdfunding projects focused on public spaces and the built environment and solar technology maker PolySolar. Gett, the Uber-rival in which German carmaker Volkswagen ploughed $300m (£239m) into earlier this year is also heading to Barcelona.

“London is already a world leader in tech, with some of the best talent in areas such as big data and sustainability. The companies on this trade mission are part of the capital’s thriving sector, which is at the forefront of developing cutting edge technologies which will change the way cities function," said Agrawal ahead of the trip.

"The mayor and I are clear that digital technology and data have a vital role to play in the future of our public services, in energy, water, safety, transport and city infrastructure. And our progress in these areas, supported by an exceptional talent pool, will create opportunities for all Londoners and realise our ambition to becoming a truly smart city."

Singapore, where the first ever driverless taxis took to the roads this summer, is a rival smart city hub while Barcelona ranks second to it according to analysts at Juniper Research. London is ranked third ahead of San Francisco and Oslo.

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The market for smart cities is estimated to be worth £8bn by 2020, wth around half of that coming from five particular sectors - energy, waste, water, transport and health - as the population of the capital rockets, according to research from Arup and City Hall.

The trade mission follows several tech companies being invited on Prime Minster Theresa May's first trade trip to India last week. Several up-and-coming forms also headed across the pond in September to strengthen trade ties in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.

The 15 startups
Mastodon C
NFC Ring
Smart Energy GB
WiFi Spark
Design for Social Change
Open energi
SEaB Energy
Space Synthax

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