Entrepreneurs sought to maximise potential of urban spaces

Innovate UK has launched a competition to find innovators to tackle the increasing challenges around British cities.

Innovate UK has launched a digital innovation programme, IC Tomorrow, to find solutions to the challenges around living in modern urban spaces.

A contest to find innovative entrepreneurs with an interest urban planning is now underway – and four winners will eventually win £35,000 of funding each to put towards their winning ideas.

They will also be given the opportunity to “collaborate with commercial partners to accelerate the development of their technologies”.

There are four categories that make up the competition. They are:

  • Enhanced travel data with Transport for London – seeking tools and concepts that utilise TfL’s existing and emerging train occupancy datasets, to help TfL explore the internal and external business opportunities for the benefit of the 24 million daily passengers on London’s public transport network.
  • Effective journey management with Centro – exploring new ways to combine existing public and travel open data to maximise parking capacity, manage traffic flow, reduce congestion and emissions, and speed up journey times.
  • City-scale communication with Clear Channel Outdoor – seeking new tools that fully tap into the potential of out-of-home advertising in order to explore new ways to open the channels of communication between residents and the city.
  • Citizen input to city design with Atkins – seeking innovative methods of encouraging citizens to share their data to better inform the planning, design and management of urban spaces and buildings.

The winning entrepreneurs retain 100 per cent of their IP and will receive mentoring and promotion to help bring their solutions to market.

>See also: Designing cities of the future – press reset, not replay

The contest’s two support partners, the Future Cities Catapult and Peterborough City Council, will bring expertise and additional support to relevant winners, including access to data and research, 1:1 surgeries and exhibition space in London’s Urban Innovation Centre and insight into how technology solutions can be applied in a modern cities context.

Matt Sansam, lead technologist, digital economy and programme manager for IC tomorrow said that, with urban populations continually increasing, it’s “vital that we think about the future to make sure these urban spaces work to their full potential”.

“Innovative digital technology has the power to provide solutions to ensure that our cities are effective and efficient for the users,” he continued.

“This contest seeks out entrepreneurs and small businesses that can address some of the most pressing challenges our urban areas face.”

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 24 November 2015. Shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges. The launch of trials for successful applicants is scheduled to take place in autumn 2016.

There will be a briefing event in London on the 20 October. There are also briefing events taking place in Birmingham on 21 October and 22 October in Glasgow.

Further reading: People forget ‘pain’ of entrepreneurship

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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Innovate UK