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If you think of our collaboration hub, real-world testbed and virtual playground as our machine for democratising and de-risking smart city innovation, the energy will be provided by an annual partner programme, partners bringing their unique perspectives, expertise, collaborations and opportunities to fuel the machine. The programme will centre on innovation challenges via design jams, discovery workshops, hackathons, accelerators, showcase and demo days, sandboxes, testbed deployments and more besides.

The programme will be inclusive, immersive and focused on learning by doing. Everyone has something valuable to contribute, and individuals will be provided with pathways to engage, learn, and grow. Nurturing and empowering the next generation of talent is key to driving long-term success – these citizens are our future innovators, entrepreneurs, employers and decision-makers. By investing in our talent, we invest in the future of our city. Our ambition for the programme is that it will build a dynamic and thriving ecosystem of stakeholders in smarter city innovation. Harnessing our collective expertise and experiences to tackle the challenges facing our city together and create a more inclusive, sustainable, and vibrant Leeds.

We’re not going to wait until the machine is up and running, piloting activities starting later this year to inform the machine’s development.

The collaboration between public sector, industry, academia and society is also called a ‘quadruple helix approach’. The benefit of this approach within smarter cities is that this model emphasises the importance of involving all stakeholders in the planning and implementation of smart city projects, which can result in a range of benefits such as; improved innovation and creativity, enhanced public participation and engagement, improved governance and decision-making and enhanced economic development.

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