Stretching from Swindon to Cambridgeshire and from Northamptonshire to Hertfordshire, England’s Economic Heartland brings political and business leaders together in a strategic collaborative partnership with a shared commitment to realise the economic potential of the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge corridor and surrounding areas. The Transport Systems Catapult is working with the project to inject innovation into the strategy and shape an exciting future for this key UK economic area.
In this blog, based on a speech at the 22nd January 2019 CAMKOX development conference, Transport Systems Catapult Chief Engagement Officer Helen Wylde images what life could be like in this Innovation Arc for a child born in today when they hit 21 years old in England’s Economic Heartland.
Life and education in 2038
Its May 2038, and Cooper Lynn is up and out early. Cooper was born and educated in EIA – England’s Innovation Arc – a new geographical area rising out of England’s Economic Heartland and the CAMKCOX corridor project of 2019; which resulted in the UK leading the World with the next generation of technologies as a replacement for Silicon Valley in the US.
Cooper has been co-educated by all the leading colleges and universities across the EIA and benefited from the significant investment and changes made to the higher and further education system in the area. This has allowed courses to be completed at multiple institutions within EIA in order to optimise and personalise education for each individual. This service is based more on deliverables than exams and with a lifelong ethos of open to all which keeps EIS residents up to date with skills, projects and technologies.
Cooper has a first-class BA hons in Nanotechnology and has been retained by a Cambridge based company working on nanotechnology-transportation solutions. They make travel more comfortable through robotic responses from autonomous transport which eradicate motion sickness and travel stress.
His parents are extremely proud of him, even if his father Stephen had secretly hoped he would become a professional footballer.
Working in the Innovation Arc
Cooper, like everyone works a full 3.5 day week with regular breaks every 1.5 hours. Unlike many other areas, the EIA recognised early in its evolution that there are optimal work patterns for both employers and employees. As a result, they rigorously reduced working hours accordingly – allowing time for community work and personal time.
Cooper earns his credit for community work visiting his “Uncle Martin” who was assigned to him as an honouree relative when he went into secondary education as part of the “generations socialisation and support programme” that has helped significantly reduce social isolation and mental health issues in the EIA.
Cooper loves these visits as Uncle Martin (82), having recently benefited from a double robotic knee replacement and only 5% mental degeneration to date has been using his spare time climbing Mount Everest.
Innovative Transport Solutions
Cooper has a lot to think about and has elected to spend his free morning thinking through some choices and ideas. To do this he used his e-scooter to travel to an on-demand autonomous transport collection point and took the road-CAT to Bedford for a walk along the recently regenerated waterways. This is one of his favourite walks and the place hums with life, there are even otter cubs frolicking in the old canal, all thanks to the foresighted Oxford University genetic wildlife bank and regeneration programme.
All public transport is free in the EIA and credits are awarded for those who walk, cycle, horse ride or run in order to keep the population fit and healthy. All school children are issued with e-scooters and e-bikes and there are secure routes for these across EIA. People are discouraged from privately owning vehicles and actually, there is little point. Any travel outside EIA can be done by CATTRAIN or through the very cost effective TAXIDRONES system, and if this fails well you can always hire a driverless car for travel.
Finding a home in 2038
Cooper recently met Blake at his dad’s work reunion (which he attended under some protest). An evening that he had thought would be a waste of time dramatically improved when he met once of his father’s old colleague’s daughter and they had immediately hit it off. It doesn’t matter how much technology you introduce some things never change!
Cooper is certain that Blake is his life partner and wants to ask her if she would move in with him. He has saved enough credits from his charity and social work to qualify for one of the new smart modular starter homes being built in the new village just outside Peterborough.
Each home comes with a fully integrated robotic support and nanotechnology walls to monitor sentiment and health. Milton Keynes successfully eradicated all homelessness in 2020 with the introduction on smart modular homes that can be built quickly, are carbon neutral and can be added or reduced according to requirements due to their modular basis. they are also very affordable and can be brought for cash, credits or a combination of both.
In the EIA no child has had to pay for their education with a student grant, nor have any of them learnt to drive or had to pay for public transport. Therefore, getting on the housing ladder is achievable, and this change of policy has been linked to a marked reduction in crime, social isolation and mental health issues within the EIA.
The TSC is excited to be work with partners to make this vision and reality. To find out more about the CAMKOX corridor project visit http://www.englandseconomicheartland.com.