Winter Newsletter December 2016- Building Momentum!
On November 15 our founding director, Anna Hill was honoured to be one of fifteen of the UK’s most innovative women in Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Award.
This has proven to be a fantastic demonstration that British funding is supporting ambitious projects which use creative problem-solving to develop solutions to some of society's most pressing issues.
Photo: Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation awards ceremony at London’s Royal Society of Arts, 15 November 2016 (Anna Hill third from left)
Speaking at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Society of Arts Anna Hill said:
“Women led enterprise is often more collaborative and more likely to involve a longer term vision engaged with the circular economy and high social impact and this should be acknowledged and celebrated. I hope that this recognition as a disruptive innovator will help to inspire a new generation to be bold, inventive, pursue their dreams, and to prepare for a more resilient and adaptive future.”
In addition the ambition and creativity of our plans have been endorsed by the Eden Project. Tim Smit Chairman & Co-Founder of the Eden Project Trust says:
“The Thames Deckway is a beautiful ambitious project exploring how to open up what is probably the most beautiful city in the world… to the millions of people who live there but feel unsafe in navigating its mysteries and delights. The Thames is the artery that makes London such a unique and diverse city. To open it up in this way is an extraordinarily bold statement of joy and self-confidence in our capital, but more than that it will tempt countless people to venture out to the least explored areas of the city and in doing so will open up opportunities to spread wealth and opportunities further and wider than ever before”.
A Great Year For British Cycling
It has certainly been a fantastic year for British cycling as Team GB went from strength to strength at the Rio Olympics, building on the legacy of 2012. Cyclists such as Laura Trott and Sarah Storey captured the nation’s hearts and we certainly expect to see great things from the world of cycling in 2017.
It's been a rollercoaster year for those of us concerned with finding solutions to society-wide issues such as climate change, air pollution in our cities, and equal access to transport. For starters political turmoil both in the UK and across the world has created a lot of uncertainty about the global transition to a low carbon sustainable society. Nevertheless there have been positive developments. In May London elected a new mayor, Sadiq Khan, who ran a campaign centred on a pledge of making London a greener, cleaner, and fairer city. Then in November world leaders met at COP22 in Marrakech- the follow up to Paris Climate Conference- to reaffirm their commitment to tackling climate change by agreeing on a range of new bolder pledges.
Photo: Laura Trott
A Year of Change
“Knowledge is power … question everything”
- Professor Brian Cox
Photos: The Brian Cox Science Summer School July 2012
Despite some positive action, it is undeniable that domestic politics is failing to inform the public of the urgency and scope of the challenges our societies face. To help change this, our team have been active in education outreach to inspire and equip the next generation of innovators with the educational tools for the 21st century challenges ahead. On 26/27 July Anna Hill was a guest speaker and participant at the Brian Cox Science Summer School at St Paul’s Way Trust School with a presentation “innovating across boundaries” alongside an inspirational line up of guest speakers. Ray Hall of London Water City Ltd joined Anna to give a talk about the impact of London floods in the 1950’s and his plans for inhabited bridges in the Thames Estuary. Professor Brian Cox patron of the summer school wrapped up the two days with a spellbinding presentation on “The Origin of the Laws of Nature”.
We have participated in many industry events this year including the National Maritime (NMDG) Business Breakfast held at University of Greenwich in London.
Photos: National Maritime Business Breakfast
On the 2nd November we attended UKTI’s Innovate 2016 which showcased 2,500 of the Uk’s most exciting innovators. We also attended Pollutec in Lyon in November, hosted by the Department for International Trade. At these events we’ve been hard at work building relationships with cycling innovation and sustainable clean technology companies. We had a conversation with Simon Jones former Team GB cycling coach and head of innovation at Team Sky who gave us a few invaluable cycling training tips for success!
Photo: The old naval college at Greenwich- the National Maritime Business Breakfast.
Photos: Mathilde Colin introduces us to the Lyon Urban Data Association and Smart Cities Initiative at Pollutec
Photo: Pollutec 2016 in Lyon, where we were hosted by the Department for International Trade
On the 16th November we participated in the Thames Estuary Partnership Annual Forum. This year’s event brought together 400 stakeholders and focused on sustainable development to address issues around the rapid and extensive development of the Thames. We were pleased to meet Katherine Riggs, Director of the Thames Vision project at the Port Of London Authority, and reconnected with Peter Green from National Maritime.
Looking towards the future!
With some fantastic support behind us from Innovate, Infocus and The Department for International Trade, it’s now full steam ahead on the next phase of development for Thames Deckway which will see a product demonstrator built in east London. Our technology pilot will demonstrate how we can tackle congestion and solve many pressing transport infrastructure problems to make urban cycling more accessible, safer and enjoyable.
9th January- Future Cities Catapult Opportunities
We will be attending the Future Cities Catapult network event on 9 January organised by Future Cities Catapult in collaboration with The Enterprise European Network and Innovate UK.
Our mission for London
The Thames Deckway is a state of the art, traffic free pedestrian and bicycle pathway which will generate its own renewable energy along the river Thames. It will be a fast, clean and safe cycling platform; an alternative to London’s hazardous and polluted streets involving state-of-the-art design, engineering, renewable energy generation and safety of operation.
The Thames Deckway is a hybrid infrastructure solution because it also functions as an adaptive emergency flood relief platform in the event of London flooding. Up to now we’ve relied on nationwide agencies to respond to environmental crises and we think this time has now past as local emergencies require local and creative responses.
We are seeking a single strategic partner to help with the funding for our pilot demonstrator in Tower Hamlets. An opportunity note is available for interested parties.
For further information and opportunities with the River Cycleway Consortium Ltd, please contact Anna Hill www.thamesdeckway.co.uk
Blue skies ahead and thanks to our supporters from around the world!
The Thames Deckway team.
Founding Director Anna Hill with co-founder David Nixon,
April 2016 (Photo Mark Szaszy)
All photos by Anna Hill unless stated otherwise