Nottingham City Council has signed an historic agreement by video application Skype to support Jaipur to become one of India’s ‘smart’ cities.

The Government of India is embarking a £445bn programme to develop 100 cities and towns in the country to become smart cities, which is expected to generate opportunities in terms of deploying state of the art technologies, providing support services and investment opportunities.

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is in India’s Smart Cities programme and the agreement for Nottingham to support Jaipur’s smart city ambition follows discussions which began in December as part of a trade and investment mission to India.

The agreement was signed at 7.30am (13.30 India time) on January 21during a Skype call between the Mayor of Jaipur, Dr Nayan Bhullar and other representatives from Jaipur, Nottingham City Council and the British Deputy High Commission.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport, said: “There is enormous potential for joint working between our cities and our business communities on this import and wide-ranging project and we are delighted to be able to sign this memorandum of understanding today with the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. In Nottingham we have the skills, background and experience in Smart City infrastructure development to support Jaipur in its ambition.”

Nottingham is considered one of the leading cities in Europe on the smart-cities agenda and is one of nine EU cities to be designated as a ‘Smart City’, taking part in a five year pilot programme to further improve energy performance, establishing new low-carbon transport and implement smart technologies, which will be the subject of international research. It is also home to the UK’s largest electric bus fleet and was named in 2015 as the UK’s cleanest city.

The agreement will see experts from the city initially delivering workshops for officials from Jaipur to support them to drive their smart city initiative forward. The agreement with Jaipur complements a formal agreement which the City Council already signed in December with the city of Chandigarh in India (the capital of Punjab and Haryana), to promote investment, trade and collaboration between both cities and their business communities, which followed an Indian trade delegation to Nottingham in the autumn.

Councillor McDonald, added: “As well as our skills, experience and enterprise in smart city infrastructure development – which is a key area of focus across India right now – Nottingham also boosts strong academic specialisms and an ideal location at the heart of the UK for Indian companies looking to invest, move or expand to the UK and Europe.

“With our already large and successful existing Indian business community, who are highly supportive of our growing partnership with India and with Jaipur and Chandigarh in particular, we continue to welcome and support investors from India. At the same time increasing trade and exports to India from Nottingham to meet the demands from India’s accelerating consumer markets.”