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The United Kingdom to Detroit: Global Business Accelerator Programme

AV visit to detroit

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A collaborative visit to spark innovation


The Autonomous Vehicle (AV) industry is thriving and projected to be worth £28bn in the UK alone by 2035.  Innovate UK, supported by the Enterprise Europe Network, hosted a visit to Detroit for businesses working within the AV space; the visit took place between 10-15th of March 2018. 


The aims of the visit were to develop collaborations with innovative organisations, set up opportunities to enter into strategic relationships and establish connections to initiate joint research and commercial adoption opportunities.


Detroit is gathering momentum in the autonomous vehicle technologies sector in the USA, as links between Silicon Valley and the city attract high-level investment. With exciting new opportunities in the autonomous vehicle and intelligence transport sectors, Detroit is attracting investment and collaborators. Advancements include a development programme, investment from Cisco and the construction of a smart and digital manufacturing centre at Wayne State University.


The Autonomous Vehicle visit to Detroit introduced 15 UK AV delegates to the very supportive and effective Michigan Economic Development Corporation (Automotive sector) who ran a programme of site visits to key industry stakeholders: the testing grounds at Willow Run; the University of Michigan M-City, home to world-renowned researchers and urban test facility for on-road deployments and UMTRI (University of Michigan Transport Research Institute).

The 15 companies that joined the programme are leading edge within their fields and aimed to build collaborative relationships during their visit. The attendees said they found the visit very valuable and would recommend businesses in similar positions to seek related opportunities.


The programme also included two conference days attended by over 1000 delegates from the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) sector, with industry leading speakers who are at the cutting edge of CAV innovation and advanced technology. The UK delegates also had the opportunity to build skills with networking and media training, as well as access to practical assistance in brokering during the conferences.


Don't just take our word for it

Here’s what one of our delegates, Propelmeehad to say about the trip:


"The Autonomous Vehicle Global Business Accelerator Programme visit to Detroit was an invaluable opportunity for Propelmee. The trip was very well organised and many useful meetings and introductions were arranged with local government and businesses operating in the field.


The visit provided a detailed insight into the connected and autonomous vehicle development, regulatory, and technology landscape in Michigan, as well as plans for the future deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles. The visit has led to many follow on conversations and confirmed next steps with venture capital firms, automotive OEMs, large technology companies, and local government officials, as well as providing the opportunity to network with other UK businesses participating in the accelerator programme.


The trip also facilitated networking with US-based Department of International Trade advisors who we are in contact with to explore export opportunities of our technology to US markets. The Autonomous Vehicle Global Business Accelerator Programme is an excellent initiative, and it would be a very useful opportunity for Propelmee to be a part of future programmes to other international markets."

-  Zain Khawaja, Founder & Lead Technologist, Propelmee Ltd.


For more information on the programmes we have running click here.

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