Bosch opens Connectory as Urban Mobility Incubator
London’s population keeps growing, with latest forecasts predicting it will reach 10.8 million inhabitants by 2041. To keep a capital this size moving is challenging and will require smart thinking – and modern technology. Researchers expect the amount of daily trips to rise by a staggering six million in the future.
London is one of the most visited cities worldwide and has been developing advanced solutions to tackle the ever-increasing demand for mobility for decades. All the same, while public transport has been upgraded continuously, there are still some issues the average London commuter has to deal with, such as overcrowding during peak times, or a lack of accessibility options.
Bosch believes that the key to overcome some of these challenges lies in the development of automated, electrified, connected, and personalized mobility.
On Monday, March 11, Bosch opened its London Connectory, a Shoreditch-based co-innovation space open to partners from the public, private and academic sectors, from start-ups to multinational organisations – with a dedicated goal: to develop smart mobility solutions for London. For this, Bosch has partnered with Nitrous, a platform facilitating projects between the private sector, start-ups and government.
“Cities cannot meet the challenges created by urbanisation alone and such partnerships will play an increasingly important role in developing innovative solutions that are commercially and environmentally sustainable,” said Arun Srinivasan, Executive Vice President Bosch Mobility Solutions UK.
“We believe that a close collaboration between mobility professionals from established companies, authorities and start-ups will accelerate the development of technologies, products and services that have a positive impact on city life.”
George Johnston, Founder and CEO of Nitrous, said: “Moving beyond the basic concept of a flexible office, London Connectory values co-creation and collaboration over co-working. This space has ambitious goals of making mobility more equitable, accessible, sustainable, and safe, thus reshaping cities around the world. It has always been Nitrous’ mission to bring together government bodies with SMEs to ensure better and more effective innovation. London Connectory is the living embodiment of this vision.”
The first partner to sign up is Transport for London (TfL) who has begun an 18-month collaboration with Bosch to explore how the goals set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy can be addressed. These include seeing more efficient, greener and safer vehicles on the capital’s roads, reducing congestion and working towards 80 percent of all trips across London being made on foot, by bicycle or by public transport by 2041.
London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, said: “London’s longstanding leadership in transport and city-wide open data creates the perfect platform for new collaborations with the tech sector. We want to do even more to utilise data and smart technology to meet the needs of our citizens. To do this we need to be bold and think big, and this involves being willing to try new ways of doing things. I’m confident that Connectory will be an important part of London’s future as a global test-bed for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed and scaled.”
Michael Hurwitz, Director of Innovation at Transport for London, said: “As part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy we are constantly looking for ways to improve London’s transport network and our customers’ experience of it.
“This collaboration with Bosch will allow us to work with the next generation of innovators and small businesses early on. By working with market leading innovators, we aim to tackle some of the crucial issues that the city faces, from greener and safer vehicles to encouraging more active lifestyles.”
The Shoreditch location, at the heart of London’s ‘Tech City’, will play host to a network of start-ups, workshops, mentors, investors and developers. Arun Srinivasan: “We are ready to offer our partners global brand expertise and experience across the connected mobility solutions.”
As part of its wide-ranging strategy to develop mobility service propositions, Bosch created its Connected Mobility Solutions division last year. This new division brings together about 650 associates from across the world to develop and sell digital mobility services, including vehicle sharing, ridesharing, and connectivity-based services for car drivers.
The Connectory is part of an evolving global brand with offices established by Bosch in Chicago, Stuttgart, Guadalajara and now London opens focusing on solutions for tomorrow’s urban mobility.