Canary Wharf Group unveils smart city accelerator initiative

36 tech start-ups offered chance to participate in Cognicity Challenge which looks to develop new “smart technologies”

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Canary Wharf Group plc has today announced the launch of the Cognicity Challenge, a new accelerator programme open to “talented” tech start-ups from the UK and internationally which looks to drive the growth of “future cities innovation” and smart city technologies.

Aiming to find the best products and innovations across six key sectors: integrated transportation, connected home, virtual design, construction, integrated resource management, and automated building management, the programme will run six global challenges with the first two challenges; transport and construction, now open for applications.

Following a “rigorous selection process”, six start-ups in each sector will be chosen to participate in the 12 week scheme with the goal to help bring their products or services to market.

Backed by the minister of state for culture and digital economy, Ed Vaizey, the selected start-ups will receive specialist mentoring and training, shared support services and workspace, as well as access to the Level39 technology accelerator community.

£50,000 of prize money will be allocated to each themed accelerator, with the six most promising companies offered the opportunity to pilot their technology within the Group estate.

The Group claims the initiative “demonstrates the authenticity and commitment of Canary Wharf Group to building a future city” as Group chairman and CEO, Sir George Iacobescu, explained:

“The launch of this ambitious series of international competitions is an important milestone in delivering our future vision for Canary Wharf as one of the world’s most technologically-advanced and innovative destinations.

“Canary Wharf was the original smart city in London, designing services and systems into the fabric of the built environment from the outset. We want to continue this evolutionary process to become a globally-renowned smart cities innovation cluster.”

Minister Vaizey commented: “Four in five people in the UK live in towns and cities, so it is crucial that government and industry continue to support businesses developing new technology that will improve the quality of life in these areas.

“The Cognicity Challenge launched today aims to help talented tech companies to develop revolutionary new solutions to the challenges facing modern cities, from creating sustainable buildings to building homes that are more digitally connected.”

To find out more about the Cognicity Challenge click here.


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