Manchester start-ups asked to transform their city through smart technologies

Commencing in March 2018, the Open Innovation challenge will select eight start-ups to work with corporate and public sector partners in an IoT test bed

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The Open Innovation challenge, launched by Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), is looking for Manchester start-ups that can help tackle the city’s biggest problems in healthcare, transport and energy through smart technologies.

Commencing in March 2018, and convened by smart city demonstrator CityVerve, the initiative will see eight small businesses selected to participate in the eight week programme in Manchester – giving them the chance to work with partners from the public sector, corporate and academic worlds who are part of the CityVerve Internet of Things (IoT) test bed.

To address said issues, four challenge briefs have been created for start-ups to respond to before entries close on 14 February. The four briefs are:

  1. Health and Social Care – working with NHS Manchester – Create a solution using data being collected from home monitoring systems which 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 interested small businesses do not believe their solutions fit any of the briefs above, they can apply as a wildcard. The Open Innovation initiative is interested in additional internet of things, data-driven or smart solutions to improve Manchester using the data sources available on the CityVerve platform.

Nick Chrissos, director of Innovation at Cisco in Europe, said:

“Without collaboration, any effort to solve the challenges facing society today fails at the first hurdle. 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 start-ups to test their technology, but for us to work with them. We are looking forward to seeing what solutions are created to help solve challenges facing Manchester not only today, but in the future.”

Anne Dornan, head of innovation and partnerships at MSP said:

“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.

“We hope to attract some of the most innovative technology small businesses 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 and 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:

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