Next smart city technologies? Cognicity Challenge intends to find them

Fri, 2014-10-24 06:00 -- SCC Staff

A London based property company is on a mission to find the next smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Canary Wharf Group announced this week it is putting £300,000 into its Cognicity Challenge – a series of themed international challenges aimed at enabling it to identify, collaborate and buy solutions from some of the world’s most promising smart cities and IOT innovators – from startups to major corporations.

Over the past two decades, Canary Wharf Group has regenerated derelict wharves into destination business and shopping districts. The London buildings are now occupied by over 100,000 people. Launch of the Cognicity Challenge coincides with the completion of the original Canary Wharf master plan and start of construction of a mixed-use extension.

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canary Wharf Group plc said: “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.”

Smart city companies will compete in six global challenges, each focusing on finding the best products and innovations in six key smart cities sub-sectors. Following a rigorous selection process, six startups in each sector will be invited to participate in a 12-week accelerator program, resulting in 36 companies being accelerated through a program designed to help bring their product or service to market. The six sectors are:

    • Sustainable buildings
    • Integrated transportation
    • Connected home
    • Virtual design and construction
    • Integrated resource management
    • Automated building management

Applications for the first two challenges (buildings and transport) are open until Nov. 30, with entries from startups encouraged from the UK and internationally. Those interested in applying can do so through the Cognicity microsite – Successful applicants will move in to start the accelerator program in early 2015.

Open API platform FIWARE also backing tech innovations

FIWARE, a European Commission-funded initiative under the Future Internet program, is also inviting startups, businesses and entrepreneurs to participate in accelerator programs to develop the next wave of digital technologies. And it has 80 million euros available to make it happen.

According to ProgrammableWeb, FIWARE's platform includes a set of open APIs and tools to help businesses, developers and the like use open source technologies to create "viable, sustainable and scalable digital services."

Learn more about the FIWARE accelerator program here.