British built-environment design and engineering company Arup is looking to partner with start-ups to design ideas that can make cities healthier, thriving places to live. The firm’s new Innovation Challenge forms part of its Venture activities, which are designed to forge what it calls ‘innovative ecosystems’ across the private and public sector to create and implement sustainable technologies, products and services for the built environment.
With 70 per cent of the population expected to live in cities in 2050, establishing a healthy urban environment is crucial for people’s wellbeing, Arup said. Focused on resilience, cities are being called on to regenerate natural ecosystems. The integration of nature-based solutions, such as green and blue infrastructure, with urban systems presents a vast field for innovation to address the current and future challenges of a changing climate.
With the initiative, Arup is aiming to form lasting partnerships with start-ups and innovators to devise solutions that will support private and public stakeholders in tackling five key urban challenges: the urban heat island effect, air pollution, biodiversity degradation, vulnerable water systems and food insecurity.
The company is currently scouting for start-ups across Europe to present their innovative and scalable solutions to its panel of experts in an upcoming virtual-pitching event to be held in November 2022. It said that collaborating with its cities, planning and design experts, and engineering specialists, invited start-ups will have the opportunity to accelerate their route to market and unlock financial revenues.