Business Models for Solving Urban Mobility Challenges in Exeter


TIME: 1:00 pm — 5:00 pm
VENUE: The Deck, The Deck (The Innovation Centre), University Of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU
PRESENTED BY: University of Exeter

Congestion is costing Exeter an estimated £63 million per year. Its impacts, however, stretch far beyond an economic bottom line. Exeter City Futures has been working to co-create solutions to the city’s energy and transport challenges, and is excited to be collaborating with Volans, Innovate UK and The University of Exeter on this half-day workshop.

The invitation-only workshop will bring together innovative SMEs, local Government, and other stakeholders working to improve urban mobility in Exeter. Run by leading innovation and sustainability change agency, Volans, we’ll look back at the strategies employed to date, and explore the use of business model principles for creating and scaling urban mobility solutions going forward. We want you to leave with new insights and connections for collaborative urban action in Exeter.

Register your interest by Wednesday 12th September, and we will confirm your place by Friday 14th September.


Sustainable solutions in improving mobility – including public transport, the use of electric or hybrid vehicles, car sharing, as well as the use of circular models for automotives – have been valued at ~US$2 trillion globally in revenues and savings each year by 2030.

In cities, the challenges around mobility are typically amplified, and the cause and impacts are systemic, touching across the local economy, environment and the wellbeing and health of citizens. Collaborative business models that take into account this complexity are required to create effective solutions that also create value for citizens, businesses as well as local government and public services.

Exeter City Futures is working to help Exeter to solve its urbanisation challenges in a way that reduces social inequality and contributes to economic growth. Through a range of innovation and data programmes they are co-creating solutions that meet the needs of the City and inspiring action that contributes towards sustainable change.

Volans and Innovate UK have developed an Action Guide for City Authorities and SMEs which identifies seven business model principles for solving urban challenges. These are:

  1. Define a Massive Transformative Purpose
  2. Align incentives with outcomes
  3. Make your innovation process as open as possible, as early as possible
  4. Leverage under-utilised assets
  5. Co-opt service users as solution co-creators
  6. Aggregate demand to share costs
  7. Design solutions that can scale exponentially

We will explore how these principles can be applied to tackle urban mobility challenges in Exeter.

Who’s the workshop for?

The workshop will bring together up to 30 decision-makers and stakeholders, representing:

  • Relevant functions across local authorities in Exeter, neighbouring councils and other public sector bodies (including the NHS, Ambulance Service, Police, Schools)
  • Private sector (including SMEs and other innovators)
  • Academics and researchers with relevant expertise

Why attend?

  • An opportunity to be part of developing city-wide strategies for scaling urban solutions
  • Exposure to best-in-class research on and examples of business model innovation to solve urban challenges
  • A chance to network with decision-makers and innovators in the Exeter region working on urban mobility
  • A rare opportunity to take time out from the day-to-day to reflect on your own approach to leadership, collaboration and innovation

The University of Exeter Business School will be hosting an informal networking event in the evening which everyone is very welcome to attend.

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