April 23, 2015
London has a new accelerator coming out of the Canary Wharf Group that is focusing on smart city technologies. The Cognicity Challenge is a twelve-week intensive program where promising startups are provided with a series of workshops, expert mentoring, and networking opportunities. The Challenge has recently announced their first two winning projects: Polysolar and Voyage Control.
The Cognicity Challenge is looking specifically for startup teams that have developed a smart city technology prototype with the potential for integration into an end-to-end connected city solution. Specifically they award admission for startups in the following streams: sustainable buildings, integrated transportation, integrated resource management, automated building management, connected home, and virtual design and construction.
At the end of the program, the entrants from each stream compete in a pitch competition and also deliver a business plan to a team of Canary Wharf Group Executives. The winning projects receive £50,000 in prize money and are given the opportunity to pilot their projects within Canary Wharf under the guidance of Canary Wharf specialists.
Polysolar won in the Sustainable Buildings stream. Polysolar has developed a transparent thin-film solar PV (photovoltaic) glass panel which can help a building generate clean energy by being integrated directly into the building’s external structure. It is known as the “first truly transparent alternative for conventional architectural building materials, generating renewable energy and a return on investment.”
The winner of the Integrated Transportation stream was Voyage Control, which is a web-based platform that helps businesses manage, optimize, and track their freight deliveries. They use advanced logistics management and data-gathering to help their clients streamline deliveries and also match them up with empty trucks to utilize space capacity. The byproducts of their system are in reducing costs, emissions, and wasted time.
“This pioneering project set up by Canary Wharf Group aims to identify and accelerate the development of smart city technology products and services to create one of the world’s leading smart city areas within one of the world’s greatest capital cities. Cognicity will collect, analyse, and harness solutions generated via its programmes to inform the creation of “the integrated city of the future” and Canary Wharf Group’s development pipeline.”
So far, Cognicity has welcomed 36 companies (six in each stream) into the accelerator program. The next two programs, in the Connected Home and Virtual Design & Construction streams, began on April 20th and the winners will be announced in early July.
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