Innovation and changeDigital TransformationSmart city challenge launched by Manchester’s CityVerve

Smart city challenge launched by Manchester's CityVerve

Competition invites SMEs to create smart city solutions that tackle the big issues faced by the city

Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to help provide care for the elderly at home and being able to optimise energy consumption of buildings using data are just two of the societal issues that Manchester’s CityVerve smart city Open Innovation challenge is hoping to tackle.

Led by Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships and convened by CityVerve, the UK’s smart city demonstrator, the challenge will see eight SMEs selected to participate in eight-week initiative to help transform the city with smart technologies.

Sustainability, traffic congestion, and long-term health conditions are all on the hit list for the Open Innovation challenges. This is all part of Manchester’s CityVerve Internet of Things test-bed, which is collecting and sharing data from across the city to create a range of solutions the people living and working there.

Commencing in March 2018, the initiative gives SMEs the opportunity to work with partners from public sector, corporate and academic worlds who are part of the CityVerve Internet of Things (IoT) test bed. The eight selected SMEs from across the UK will have the opportunity to put their innovative solutions to the test, in a real-life situation.

The four briefs SMEs are being asked to respond to before entries close on February 14th are:

  1. Health and Social Care – working with NHS Manchester: Create a solution using data being collected from home monitoring systems that enables triggered intervention and care for the elderly, to ease the reliance on healthcare providers.
  2. Transport and Travel – working with Transport for Greater Manchester: Create an infrastructure or consumer solution that eases passenger experience or improves confidence and usage in public transport.
  3. Energy and Environment – working with Manchester Science Partnerships: Create a non-intrusive and cost-effective solution that optimises energy consumption and reduces carbon emissions in commercial buildings, using existing building data and data from external sources.
  4. Wildcard entry: If SMEs interested in the competition don’t believe their solutions fit any of the briefs above, they can apply as a wildcard. Additional IoT, data-driven or smart solutions to improve Manchester using the data sources available on the CityVerve platform are of interest.

Winning participants have the opportunity to scale their solutions through Cisco’s global sales channels. On top of this, MSP and Growth Studio are giving product development and business master classes; as well as access to investors in the smart cities space.

SMEs will also get a £5,000 grant and the chance to showcase their technology at the CityVerve demo day later this year.

“Without collaboration, any effort to solve the challenges facing society today fails at the first hurdle,” said Nick Chrissos, business development manager at Cisco UK & Ireland. “No one organisation can truly do it alone. The answer lies in co-innovation, and this approach is fundamental to the Open Innovation challenges.

“This is an exciting opportunity not only for our country’s best SMEs to test their technology, but for us to work with them. I’m looking forward to seeing what solutions are created to help solve challenges facing Manchester not only today, but in the future.”

“This is a hugely exciting part of the CityVerve demonstrator project where city partners have the opportunity to source and co-develop genuinely innovative solutions and trial them in a real-world environment,” added Anne Dornan, head of innovation and partnerships at MSP.

“We hope to attract some of the most innovative technology SMEs in the UK to work with the support of committed civic partners and global industry players to deploy some market leading smart city solutions which not only improve key services in Manchester, but can be exported to cities globally.”

Applications for the four open innovation challenge briefs close on 14 February 2018, and fast-track selection days will be held on 15_16 February 2018. The final selection day will be held on 5 March 2018, and the challenge will commence on 19 March before ending in May.

For more information and to apply please go to: cityverve.org.uk/open-innovation

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