Innovating for city living


Do you live in a city? By 2050, 75% of us will be city dwellers.

AI will transform how we map, manage, move and support life in our cities and surround areas. It will help us conserve vital resources of water and energy to reduce our impact on the planet.

How is the UK innovating to help us live more sustainably?

Vital Resources

Energy is key to our future on Earth. AI technologies help manage our energy resources now and will transform energy use in the future. National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) is using data science and machine learning to analyse millions of data points and improve renewable power forecasts. More accurate prediction of wind and solar power means greater use of these zero carbon resources and helps deliver a greener electricity system.

Water for the World

Water is a vital resource. AI helps us monitor and control the world’s water supplied form micro irrigation to global reserves. Farm-Hand Ltd uses satellite data to provide farmers in the developing world information  and systems to improve yield whilst reducing water, energy and fertiliser use.

Tomorrow's Energy

AI can help us plan and control how and when renewable energy is generated, how it reaches our cities and is distributed to us. Scotland-based tidal energy leader Nova Innovation is using AI to improve the efficiency of generating energy from tidal turbines. With a consortium of 11 organisations, they are creating an adaptive control system to make the turbine more reactive to changes in the environment, increasing efficiency, output and durability.

Exploring Extreme Environment

Heriot Watt with work on sub-sea robotics uses AI in their underwater robotics to understand complex conditions using even a very limited suite of underwater sensors. It allows the right decisions to be made to achieve a given goal, for example, it can take into account dynamically changing environments with low light, backscatter, and disruptions due to rapid motion.

Sustainable Infrastructure

Digital Twins of buildings behave like their real-world counterparts, delivering data-driven information needed to uncover energy, carbon, capital and operational savings, key to decarbonising the built environment. These ‘digital twins’ use AI to predict potential damage and maintenance needs, saving money and time. Technology company Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) has developed software that builds a digital twin of a building or group of buildings, using AI and machine learning to simulate performance over time, to ensure high energy efficiency and a healthy environment for occupants.

Smart Monitoring

Smart sensors for air quality, streetlights, car parks and even pavements can monitor cities in real time. Working with AI, this helps create cleaner, more pleasant places to live. Newcastle UK has installed smart sensors across the city that collect data on traffic, air quality, power usage and waste production. Analysing this data highlights areas where changes will make Newcastle a more sustainable, cleaner place to live. 

Connected Citizen

See.Sense is a Northern Ireland based cycling technology and data company, creating award-winning intelligent and connected bike lights and GPS bike trackers. Their products make use of AI, patented sensor technology and advanced connectivity solutions, generating near-real-time sensor data insights that improve safety and integrate micromobilty into city mobility systems.

Future Transport Networks

Kar-go uses a combination of advanced robotics and driver-less vehicle technology to deliver packages autonomously. These electric, autonomous vehicles remove up to 90% of the cost associated with the last mile of delivery. Kar-go’s advanced robotics help to sort packages on the move and select the correct package for the next delivery address. The operating system can also be used with other electric vehicles. 


Everyday Robotics

Ulster Carpets is a perfect example of traditional industry using modern technology. Their smart factory dyes a blend of sheep's wool and nylon in various colours for their carpets. The factory’s robotics can accurately make any colour the customer requests; this is then woven into carpet for homes, hotels, and cruise ships across the world.

Advanced Solutions

CropSafe provides any farmer with actionable suggestions on how to improve their yields, without the need for the interpretation of complicated data. Utilising hundreds of satellite, soil and weather sources, they do all the heavy lifting, opening up the possibilities of a connected farm to any grower on the planet.