Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Open Innovation challenges to transform Manchester with smart technologies

January 22, 2018

Imagine being able to use the Internet of Things (IoT) to help provide care for the elderly at home. Or being able to optimise energy consumption of buildings using data…

These are just two of the societal issues that we’re looking tackle as part of our Open Innovation challenges with Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP).

We’re on the search to find some of the UK’s best start-ups with the vision to help transform Manchester through smart technologies.

Kicking off in March, we want eight SMEs to take part in the challenges running over 2 months – with the opportunity to work with partners from public sector, corporate and academic worlds. This is all part of Manchester’s CityVerve Internet of Things test-bed, which is collecting and sharing data from across the city to create a range of solutions the people living and working there.

Sustainability, traffic congestion, and long-term health conditions are all on the hit list for the Open Innovation challenges. Combining data, technology and creativity, here’s the four briefs we’re asking SMEs to respond to before entries close on February 14th:

Health and Social Care – working with NHS Manchester

Create a solution using data being collected from home monitoring systems that enables triggered intervention and care for the elderly, to ease the reliance on healthcare providers.

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.

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.

Wildcard entry

If SMEs interested in the competition don’t believe their solutions fit any of the briefs above, they can apply as a wildcard. We’re interested in additional IoT, data-driven or smart solutions to improve Manchester using the data sources available on the CityVerve platform.

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 SMEs to test their technology, but for us to work with them. I’m looking forward to seeing what solutions are created to help solve challenges facing Manchester not only today, but in the future.

And if that wasn’t attractive enough…for participants there’s the extra opportunity to scale their solutions through Cisco’s global sales channels. On top of this, MSP and Growth Studio are giving product development and business master classes; as well as access to investors in the smart cities space.

SMEs will also get a £5,000 grant and the chance to showcase their technology at the CityVerve demo day later this year.

Want to get involved? Applications are now open – head to:

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