£210,000 startup competition launched to find connected cities solutions

A competition has been launched to encourage digital startups and SMEs to create solutions for connected cities

A competition has been launched to encourage digital startups and SMEs to create solutions for connected cities.

The £210,000 prize will be split between six startups that produce internet of things (IoT) innovations for connected buildings, communities, services and the environment.

The contest was launched by IC Tomorrow in partnership with EDF Energy, Intel, Siemens, Kimberly Clark, Amey and Ordnance Survey. Successful applicants will be partnered with industry experts to develop different types of solution.

The UK's growing population and expanding cities are leading to social, environmental and economic challenges that could be solved by technology. 

According to Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), more than £500m a year is wasted by energy-inefficient buildings in the UK, London is the 15th most water-stressed city in the developed world and 50,000 people die in the UK each year because of poor air quality. Meanwhile, the country's transport infrastructures also need expansion and modernisation.

The six challenges

  • Connected Buildings: Digital in-home display, supported by EDF Energy; Community data sharing, supported by Intel
  • Connected Communities: Empowering communities to manage their energy, supported by Siemens 
  • Connected Environment: Urban sanitation, supported by Kimberley Clark
  • Connected Services: Helping urban service providers respond to citizens’ needs, supported by Amey; Using data to encourage independent living, supported by Ordnance Survey and Hampshire Hub

IC Tomorrow said greater collaboration and smarter sharing of information between sectors is vital.

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC Tomorrow, said: “We are living in an increasingly urban world and there is an urgent need for sustainable innovations that will help us maintain our current quality of life without too much detriment to the environment. We also need to find smarter ways of utilising resources such as data, so it can be used to benefit innovations across every sector.

“New technology alone isn’t going to be enough – collaboration is key to solving these challenges, which is why IC Tomorrow is bringing together some of the leading companies in the connected cities space as challenge partners. We look forward to seeing a range of inventive applications from startups and small businesses, even if they are only at the ideas stage.”

The six successful startups will each win £35,000 to develop their idea and will keep 100% of their intellectual property. The companies will also trial their solutions with their industry partners for three months.

Deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 14 October 2014.

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