Following a day of drama and excitement at Ordnance Survey’s Southampton head office, the winners of the GeoVation Challenge, ‘How can we improve transport in Britain’ have been decided.
The winners share a prize fund of £160,000, which includes £10,000 for the best use of Ordnance Survey’s free mapping service, OS OpenData. They will now begin work bringing their ventures to life.
And the winners are…
- Mission:Explore were awarded £36,500 for their idea to encourage children and their families to cycle by inviting them to seek out and complete irreverent, geography-themed ‘missions’ located across the National Cycle Network. The team also won an additional £1,000 prize after winning the Community Award, as voted for by the audience.
- My PTP, which stands for Personal Transport Planner, also took home a cheque for £36,500 to help build their vision of a journey planner that enables businesses and consumers to make informed travel choices in real-time.
- CycleStreets received £27,000 to help them build their cycling advocacy toolkit which will help groups across the country work for better cycling facilities.
- MySociety won £27,000 to implement the mobile element of their FixMyTransport initiative. They want to encourage travellers to become micro-activists when they find problems with the transport network, allowing them to automatically report issues to the relevant authority.
- The @ccessAdvisR team were also awarded £27,000 for their idea of a disabled access route planner to help take the stress out of journeys for travellers with limited mobility.
- And finally, £6,000 was presented to the London Cycle Map Campaign for their idea of creating a colour coded Tube-style map of the Capital’s cycling network.
GeoVation is Ordnance Survey’s innovation programme that seeks to support innovators, developers or entrepreneurs who want to bring geography-based ventures to life. Now into its second year of awards, this GeoVation Challenge asked entrants to suggest ideas that would help people travel in a smarter, better or greener way.
A total of 155 entries were received, which was then whittled down to 9 finalists. Then, at a showcase event on Wednesday, each of the finalists were given 5 minutes to pitch to a panel of expert judges and explain why their idea deserved to be awarded part of the development fund. They then took questions from the judges and the assembled audience.
One of the judges, Peter ter Haar Ordnance Survey’s Director of Products, said: "All the judges were hugely impressed with the quality of the entries and the calibre of the presentations. Each of the finalists should be proud of getting this far, but in the end the judges decided that these six ideas could make the most impact and had the greatest potential."
Dr Chris Parker, the GeoVation Coordinator at Ordnance Survey, added: “We launched GeoVation because we believe that geography can play an important part in addressing some big challenges – including helping us improve transport in Britain. It’s very exciting that such brilliant ideas have now been given the means to bring their projects to life.”
The GeoVation Challenge is run by Ordnance Survey with support from Ideas in Transit, a five-year project funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Transport and EPSRC.
For more information on GeoVation and the winners, visit the website at www.geovation.org.uk