Business in Focus: City Science
Since the start of the collaboration in 2018, the Data Science team at Exeter and City Science have worked together on 9 projects, leveraging over £2 million of government funding and covering subjects around transport and energy optimisation, digital twin calibration, creation of open urban models to support de-carbonisation, and computational rationality for drones.
City Science is an Exeter-based tech company specialising in the optimisation of complex urban systems. They work with private organisations and public authorities to develop bespoke solutions, identify efficiency opportunities and inform policy options.
The collaboration between the University of Exeter and City Science was sparked through the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab. It all began with an idea: solving the ‘first and last mile problem’ by using connected and autonomous vehicles to improve uptake of public transport usage among commuters.
Following this initial award-winning project, City Science and the University of Exeter have established a strategic partnership, which has grown into a thriving ecosystem of scientific research and development projects. City Science have collaborated extensively with the University of Exeter on a total of 9 projects (6 of which are ongoing), leveraging over £2 million in UK government funding on collaborative research projects, and expanding their staff through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.
“The expertise in advanced optimisation we’ve gained through that very first project has fed into all the other ones, contributing to a significant growth for the business […] and providing us with a competitive edge in a very tough market,” says Laurence Oakes-Ash, CEO of City Science.
Among their latest projects is ‘From RIBA to Reality’, with Professor Tim Dodwell. The aim of the project is to develop deep digital twin solutions for human-centric buildings in order to better optimise the building’s energy models.
City Science is also working with Professor Ed Keedwell on the project ‘Real-Time Distributed Optimisation of Dualed Transport & Electrical Networks’, funded through Innovate UK’s ‘Catalysing Green Innovation’ call. The project aims at developing a fully integrated, real-time transport-electric-hydrogen network simulation in order to optimise planning and operation of these systems.
Finally, Professor Richard Everson is leading on their project ‘Computational Rationality for Distributed Airborne Delivery Agents’, funded through the Future of Flight Challenge. The aim is to develop a system to integrate distributed airborne delivery vehicles into an end-to-end customer delivery proposition.
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