Things Connected Innovation Programme for Local Authorities

Local Authorities are becoming increasingly aware of how innovative, low cost Internet of Things solutions can help councils deliver better services and efficiently manage their local infrastructure. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) can make that a reality, but Local Authorities struggle to identify the right technology partners that will meet their specific needs in a rapidly evolving market.

UK SMEs who develop LPWAN solutions are keen to work with Local Authorities, but they find it difficult to turn promising conversations with individual council staff into real business opportunities.

To remove this stumbling block, Digital Catapult’s third Things Connected Innovation Programme brings together Local Authorities and LPWAN innovators to work on real-world challenges and helps them fine tune their offerings for the Local Authority market.

Why you should get involved

UK SMEs working with LPWAN technologies are invited to apply to join the programme, to refine and pitch solutions to one of the specific challenges faced by four Local Authorities. Innovators with the best pitches go forward to conduct a live trial with the relevant council.

The Local Authorities and their challenges are:

  • Croydon – Measuring the impact of construction sites on air pollution in the surrounding area.
  • Suffolk – Monitoring footfall in a seaside town.
  • Sutton – Independent travel for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities.
  • Thurrock – More efficient waste management at municipal refuse tips.

Who should apply

If you are a UK SME that provides LPWAN solutions that could help Local Authorities address their challenges then this programme might be for you. It runs from mid-May until the end of July, with trials to be completed by the end of 2018.

What you can expect from the programme

Participation in the Innovation Programme includes:

  • Free access to the Things Connected network.
  • A six-week programme of facilitated business and technical training, for example: user centred design, how to do business with Local Authorities, how to redesign your prototype for high volume manufacture, and how to pitch for investment.
  • Discovery sessions with Local Authorities to gain a deeper understanding of their challenges and requirements.
  • The opportunity to refine and pitch your solution(s) to a Local Authority challenge.
  • A Customer Showcase at the Digital Catapult Centre to demonstrate your offerings to an invited audience of Local Authorities and service providers.
  • The chance to network with other innovators (potential partners) working with similar technologies.

If your pitch is successful then you will also benefit from:

  • Local Authority support to implement a live trial, and to showcase the outcome of the trial to local stakeholders and partners.
  • The opportunity to pitch to investors for funding.
  • A case study of the trial written up and published on the Digital Catapult website.

There is also potential for larger scale trials and subsequent business being procured from all four Local Authorities involved on the programme.

Next Steps

Register your interest now by completing the short form below. You will be emailed a Knowledge Pack with more information on each of the challenges together with a simple application form. Applications will close at 5 pm on 30 April 2018 and you will be told if you have been selected on 4 May 2018.

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