Well who’da thunk it, George Osborne is getting all 21st Century on us! That’s right, the chancellor has just this week announced a brand new competition aimed at inspiring UK businesses to get in touch with their tech sides and “revolutionise” the way technology can be used to our advantage. The government hopes the challenge will give rise to a whole host of developments across the board so if you feel like giving it a crack of the whip, just keep on reading.
The prize fund for this innovative new competition amounts to the princely sum of £10m and is being overseen by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Innovation UK. It comes as part and parcel of Osborne’s earlier £40m pledge towards the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) which was announced during the spring Budget in March. The chancellor’s multi-million pound injection is a mere fraction of the wider £740m investment that has been pumped into supporting IoT and creating “cities of the future”.
In spring speech Osborne said: “We’ll invest in what is known as the Internet of Things. This is the next stage of the information revolution, connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.”
Digital economy minister, Ed Vaizey, added: “The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. The UK technology sector is renowned for its creativity and pioneering research and development.
“This competition will be instrumental in discovering new connections between city services and their users, and identifying many more advantages that the Internet of Things could offer.
“IoT is a major area of growth and will have a transformative effect on society – a recent report by Aurp estimate that the global value of the IoT sector will exceed £255bn a year by 2020. Cities can use IoT to improve services for their citizens, increase quality of life and make better informed decisions more quickly. The success of cities will depend on them working in new ways with new partners.”
Competition entrants are being asked to carry out a research and development project that outlines how technology and IoT can be used to benefit factors such as environmental improvement measures, economy support and transport developments, as well as improving the efficiency of healthcare and energy. Those feeling inspired by the brief need to adhere to the following competition regulations:
The project must have the collaborative backing of at least one local authority or local enterprise partnership, as well as several other companies.
The project must outline specific advantages for citizens, the city region and the environment.
The project must detail economic benefits for businesses and local authorities, both during and following the initial trial.
The project must provide adequate security and privacy features.
The project must display the potential to work across a variety of sectors including social care, transport and housing.
Deadlines for applications is on Wednesday 30th September 2015 so if you feel like you’ve got what it takes to take on this techy competition then you better get your skates on!
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