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Thames Deckway Autumn Newsletter 2017

Celebrating Success and New Opportunities

Having won two awards from Innovate UK and having developed countless new relationships, Thames Deckway is celebrating success by taking a look back at some of the key moments that made the first half of 2017 truly transformative for us!

Photo of Anna Hill. Co-foundier and Entrepreneur behind the Thames Deckway project. Photo by Amelia Troubridge, courtesy of Getty Images Gallery.

 

Last November we won Innovate UK’s Infocus Women in Innovation award. The award involved project support from Innovate UK to help push our vision into reality. From January we have benefitted greatly from their support which has helped us attract new opportunities and gain unparalleled insight into how to develop our project demonstrator. we've also been thrilled to take part in the events and expert workshops offered by Infocus and have enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences with the Infocus entrepreneurial community.

Anna, along with the other winners of the award, were recently featured in a widely publicised (BBC, FT, Refinery29) exhibition at the Getty Gallery in London.  In an effort to challenge the fact that one in three women say their gender has negatively impacted their career in innovation, this unique exhibition profiled Innovate UK’s women in innovation Award Holders and ambassadors.  

Following from this success, we applied to and won Innovate UKs Design Foundations competition which is designed to help businesses like us identify high-value innovation opportunities through the process of human-centred design and stakeholder workshops. We are delighted to be working on this project with our subcontractors Special Projects, a design consultancy.
 
We’re currently looking to the future by collaborating with Royal Haskoning and our consortium to apply to the Innovate UK Infrastructure Round 3 competition. This funding opportunity has been developed to support companies like us in developing innovations in smart infrastructure, energy systems, connected transport, and urban living.

New Connections and supporters
  

Throughout the year we’ve been engaging closely with our existing partners, Royal Haskoning, Arup, Hugh Broughton, and Kemp Little,  and with the support of Newable and DIT have been developing our vision into a reality.
 
In February we met with the Department for International Trade and London Mayor Sadiq Khan at the British embassy for the “London is open”. We were pleased and proud to hear the Mayor emphasise London’s commitment to openness, tolerance, and to working even closer with European cities, despite the results of last year’s referendum. In February we also attended the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures ‘Grand Challenges’ exhibition and networking forum at the Institute of Civil Engineers.

In April we were pleased to attend Triodos Bank’s Annual General Meeting. Triodos is one of the world’s leading sustainable banks which invests in sustainable infrastructure solutions.  We were pleased to have their support and enthusiasm for the project and look forward to building a long-term relationship with them. In April we also met with the London Climate Change Partnership, a centre for expertise on climate change adaptation and resilience to extreme weather in London. And in May we attended the All-Energy Conference in Glasgow, the UK’s largest renewable energy event.

Co-founder Anna Hill presenting at Glasgow's All Energy Innovation Showcase.

 

In June we were back up to Glasgow to present on climate adaptation and resilient infrastructure at the 3rd European Climate Change Adaptation Conference Innovation Day. Over 850 people attended representing diverse interests including businesses, industry, NGOs, local government and communities all engaging under the theme of ‘Our Climate Ready Future’.

In August we attended New London Architecture’s Active Travel Summit which included presentations from key speakers such as London’s new Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, Transport for London, London Cycle Campaign, and Cross River Partnership. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the new Mayor’s priorities, and some of the new projects and ideas surrounding London’s cycling and walking landscape. The Summit was also is a key part of NLA’s year-long Transport & Infrastructure Programme which we will aim to engage with regularly. 


Cycling infrastructure, a necessity rather than a priority
 

Key indicators for achieving the Active Travel Goals 

 

At Thames Deckway we follow closely London’s progress on making the city a place where cycling is an enjoyable, safe and reliable transport option. As our city continues to grow, investment into cycling infrastructure will be key, not only to reduce the burden on our already at-capacity underground network, but also to make sure London develops into a city that is not overly polluted and thus a place where outdoor exercise, be it for commuting or for recreation, is an option for all Londoners.

We’ve been pleased with the Mayor’s new cycling and walking strategy that stressed that “For too long, some have seen cycling as a niche activity, rather than a normal activity for all”. To combat this the Mayor’s strategy places emphasis on the concept of Active Travel in which walking and cycling are made into the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. In doing so, not only does it reduce the problems of congestion and pollution, but also improves public health. After all walking and cycling for just 10 minutes a day can help prevent and manage more than 20 chronic health conditions.
 
To help achieve these objectives the Mayor has made over £1 billion of Government funding available to local bodies that may be invested in cycling and walking over the next five years. We look forward to engaging with the Mayor on how the Thames Deckway can achieve his policy objectives.


 


Thames Deckway’s new approach to design: Project H.E.A.R.T.
Human-centred design and stakeholder Engagement to Accelerate River Travel


In collaboration with award-winning design studio Special Projects and Innovate UK’s Design Foundations 2017 Awards, Thames Deckway’s HEART study will use design to address innovation barriers, gain user and stakeholder insight, and generate new innovation methods, ideas and strategic opportunities in order to help bring our vision closer to the people and places it will serve.

The project will focus on understanding articulated and unarticulated human needs, motivations and behaviour in order to understand what will satisfy potential customers and stakeholders. This insight will be used to inspire a broad range of new ideas, which will be tested with potential users for desirability and usability. The project will refine these ideas to pinpoint the most promising solutions for further development.
 
The HEART project will run from October 2017 to March 2018.
 

 
Thames Deckway in the news 

 

A big thank you

 
We rely on grassroots support to ensure that our project helps serve communities to the fullest extent. That’s why we’d like to send out a big thank you to all our supporters around the world who offer us active encouragement and support us in our international growth.

Sincerely,
 

The Thames Deckway Team 

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