News story

Smart cities: Innovate UK-supported firms rise to the challenge

Companies supported by Innovate UK have dominated all three rounds of Canary Wharf Group's Cognicity Challenge this year.

Night view of Canary Wharf buildings, London
Canary Wharf ... piloting technologies for a smarter, more aware city.

The pioneering Cognicity Challenge project identifies and accelerates the development of technologies that can transform Canary Wharf into a smarter, more aware city. It has been designed and run by innovation experts ENTIQ for Canary Wharf Group plc.

In the third and final round, BlockDox and Puckily tied for first place in the ‘Connected Home’ stream and shared the £50,000 cash prize. They will also collaborate on a pilot project.

Puckily’s innovation allows a range of devices around the home to be connected and controlled remotely, taking advantage of developments in the Internet of Things with help from Innovate UK.

BlockDox has also received Innovate UK funding through Innovation Vouchers and the IC tomorrow programme. It has developed an app that allows residential tenants to perform tasks more easily, such as organising repair work and contacting property managers.

By combining their technologies, the two companies will improve people’s ability to manage their homes through connected devices.

Intelligent monitoring

3D Repo, the winner in the ‘Virtual design and construction’ stream, has produced an open source building information modelling (BIM) platform, which enables better collaboration on construction projects. The firm received Smart funding from Innovate UK.

Demand Logic and SEaB Energy are also to pilot their technologies at Canary Wharf after winning round 2 of the Challenge. The streams were ‘Integrated resource management’ and ‘Automated building management’.

Demand Logic helps businesses to reduce electricity usage by intelligently monitoring and controlling non-essential electrical outputs. SEaB Energy’s micro anaerobic digestion system converts food waste into water and green power on-site.

Both have received support from Innovate UK in the form of collaborative R&D funding and were invited to join Clean & Cool missions – Demand Logic to San Francisco (2015) and SEaB Energy to Brazil (2013).

The first round winners were Polysolar and Voyage Control, competing in the ‘Sustainable buildings’ and ‘Integrated transportation’ streams.

PolySolar’s glass technology prevents buildings overheating while generating electricity and has been awarded nearly £300,000 in Innovate UK funding. Voyage Control helps businesses manage, optimise and track freight deliveries by streamlining logistics, addressing security and meeting environmental objectives.

Celebrating the third and final Cognicity Challenge Showcase, Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and CEO of Canary Wharf Group, said:

We chose to run the Cognicity Challenge to identify companies and technologies which will help ensure that Canary Wharf Group’s developments remain among some of the most advanced in the world.

Collaborating with 36 startups has provided the opportunity to appraise our own processes and understanding of innovation in the smart cities arena, at the same time as helping shape their thinking and products. We are looking forward to the piloting phase and its outcomes.

Looking for funding to develop your innovation? See our current funding opportunities.

Published 23 July 2015