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Connected Cities challenge

We are pleased to announce that 5050partnership has won our challenge with Push to talk. A secure voice network for carers and socially-isolated people, it's described as 'a virtual coffee shop or post office: a place to meet new people, share experiences with your peers or let off steam with your peers.'

We worked for a second time with IC tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme that stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector.

IC tomorrow runs a range of funded contests in collaboration with leading partners that encourage innovation in new digital applications or services. The Connected Cities challenge launched in September 2014.

An IC tomorrow challenge

IC tomorrow offered six businesses up to £35k each to encourage innovation around the changing urban landscape across the themes of digitally connected buildings, communities, environment and services.

They looked for proposals from start-ups and SMEs with innovative digital ideas relevant to ‘connected cities’ that will meet the future needs of the urban environment, its communities, buildings and services. To do this they teamed up with six data challenge partners, including Ordnance Survey and the Hampshire Hub.


This Ordnance Survey challenge (Challenge six) was about using data to encourage independent living. This £35k challenge sought solutions that use data to provide an improved and sustainable health service and a better quality of life for older people within their own homes.

It is increasingly difficult for providers of social care to maintain a sustainable care-in-the-home support system, due to the expanding and ageing population, increasing expectations of health care provision, and the growing restrictions on health care funding. Funding for health and social care accounted for just under half of government expenditure in 2009/10, and the majority of this budget was directed at older people (over 65) [House of Commons Library Research paper: The Ageing Population, 2010].

This increase in demand for care, coupled with the focus on supporting people to remain independent living in their own home for longer, means that a radical re-think of the services currently offered by providers of social care, including local authorities will be required.

Our challenge

Supported by Ordnance Survey (OS) and the Hampshire Hub, the challenge sought digital solutions that must leverage data to assist local government in their delivery of health care services, by:

  • Developing tools that enhance the quality of life of older people through assisted living
  • Improving the coordination of scarce resource across the community, through the delivery of efficient and effective services.
  • Providing feedback and insight to the service provider

Additionally, entrants were invited to explore one or more of the following points:

  • Allocation of resources based on location of service users
  • Identification of accessible homes and facilities
  • Modelling demand on services at Local Authority or National scales to give contextual overviews.
  • Third party Open Data resources including the ONS, data.gov.uk amongst others

The winning solution will be trialled by Hampshire Hub with support from Ordnance Survey, in conjunction with service providers, community groups and local authorities, for a minimum period of three months before being commercialised more widely.

The successful applicant will now have the opportunity to implement a solution using the Hampshire Hub as a working test bed or sandbox, with OS support. The Hampshire Hub uses Open Data to address the requirements of Hampshire County Council, and will be seeking to demonstrate the value of the data and/or services they provide.

See also

The first IC tomorrow challege we ran was won by Nick Hume with The Planning App. Read his account of the challenge experience – before, during and after.

Useful links

Developers can use our free OS OpenData products to create innovative tools or applications to benefit a new initiative, Future Cities. It aims to address the future needs of our cities to help improve infrastructure and quality of life. Find out how to get involved.

Hampshire Hub

Visit the Hampshire Hub website.

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