VU.CITY and Queen’s University Secure Knowledge Transfer Partnership Funding

We’re delighted to have secured a prestigious funding award from Innovate UK to further our work using technology to improve the UK planning system.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme helps businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity by providing better access to the knowledge, technology and skills held within the UK.

This year it has recognised VU.CITY’s partnership with Queen’s University Belfast’s (QUB’s) planning department – a collaboration that utilises a breadth of academic expertise to inform how VU.CITY’s existing Smart Cities platform can better assist the planning industry. It is only the second time the KTP programme has made such an award to a UK planning department.

VU.CITY and Queen’s University Secure Knowledge Transfer Partnership Funding

This year it has recognised VU.CITY’s partnership with Queen’s University Belfast’s (QUB’s) planning department – a collaboration that utilises a breadth of academic expertise to inform how VU.CITY’s existing Smart Cities platform can better assist the planning industry. It is only the second time the KTP programme has made such an award to a UK planning department.

VU.CITY and Queen’s University Secure Knowledge Transfer Partnership Funding

The aim of VU.CITY and QUB’s partnership is to make VU.CITY’s existing platform an integral part of every planner’s daily work – an interactive tool to understand and analyse all the key planning constraints applicable to a development decision. In practice this means enabling a planner to enter a site location and details of a development and immediately be presented with an indication of the degree of compliance or non-compliance with existing planning policy, legislation and guidance. The results are based on a robust set of material considerations contained within the VU.CITY platform.

VU.CITY and Queen’s University Secure Knowledge Transfer Partnership Funding

The goal of the partnership ultimately forms part of VU.CITY’s mission to create a more transparent, efficient planning system through the increased use of digital resources. The start-up wants to address the complexity, slowness and inconsistency of the current planning system, which research shows has a negative effect on the competitiveness of our cities.

This funding grant announced by Innovate UK will go a long way to helping VU.CITY make those goals possible.

VU.CITY and Queen’s University Secure Knowledge Transfer Partnership Funding

Meet the KTP Team

We’re delighted to welcome Justin McHenry to the VU.CITY team as the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate. Justin will be with us for two years and act as the primary link between the VU.CITY teams in Belfast and London and our academic partners at Queen’s University.

Justin is a Resilience Planner who studied at QUB and has since gained a breadth of experience working on major transportation infrastructure, development, placemaking and renewable energy projects across Ireland. He will be mentored by Jamie Holmes, VU.CITY’s CEO and Kevin Francis, a Partner at surveying practice GIA.

The VU.CITY team will benefit from the invaluable academic knowledge base held within QUB. Dr Stephen McKay, Head of Planning and Dr Philip Boland, Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural and Built Environment will ensure that VU.CITY will be supported by world-class academic research into the ever evolving responsibilities of planners.