Cognicity Challenge seeks Applications from Smart Cities Technology Companies

Canary Wharf Group launched the Cognicity Challenge this week, and ambitious smart cities companies can now apply here.

Eric Van der Kleij announced the new smart cities initiative here at Level39, soonafter appearing live on BloombergTV, click here to watch the interview.


The Cognicity Challenge is looking for applications from smart cities technology companies, and is the starting point for the creation of “the city of the future” – a development that understands and responds to the needs and lives of its residents and workers.

The Challenge is divided into six streams, each a critical element in the creation of a truly connected city. The first two streams listed below are currently open for applications:

* Cognicity Challenge: Sustainable Buildings

* Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Transportation

* Cognicity Challenge: Connected Home

* Cognicity Challenge: Virtual Design & Construction

* Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Resource Management

* Cognicity Challenge: Automated Building Management

From the applicants, six startups will be selected to enter 12-week accelerators and work with leading technology companies and Canary Wharf Group teams to develop new smart city solutions.

The startups in each stream will develop their technologies and solutions through an intensive 12-week programme, with expert guidance from the Cognicity Challenge partners and accelerator sponsors.

At the end of these, one startup from each accelerator will be selected to receive a £50,000 cash prize and pilot their solutions in the ongoing development of Canary Wharf and create a showcase connected city.

The challenge had already won the plaudits from the Chairman of Canary Wharf Group plc, the CEO of Tech City and the Minister for the Digital Economy. Here’s what they had to say:

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

“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 for the Digital Economy and Smart Cities Forum co-chair, Ed Vaizey, said:

“Four in five people in the UK live in towns and cities, so it is crucial that Government and industry continues 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. It looks to provide these companies with an enormous city-scale testing ground here in the UK in which to pilot their ideas – ensuring they can develop the best possible solutions to these challenges and grow their business.”

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK and one of the founders of the Internet of Things Launchpad, adds:

“Britain’s tech sector is a key driver of innovation. With a critical mass of expertise in both hardware and software, the UK is in a strong position to lead the way in the Internet of Things for smart cities. The Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity Challenge complements Tech City UK’s Internet Of Things Launchpad competition, further contributing to the UK’s potential to be at forefront of this transformative technology.”

Apply for the Cognicity Challenge here.


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