One of the competitors in the Cognicity Challenge proposes to create floors capable of generating electricity from the energy of human steps

Canary Wharf to get 'smarter' with tech competition

Cognicity Challenge has selected 12 companies to take part in its smart city competition for the opportunity to implement innovative solutions in London’s Canary Wharf.

The 12 finalists announced today are the first batch of the overall 36 start-ups to compete in the challenge, which seeks novel solutions relying on smart technology to improve life in the district with a focus on integrated transport, sustainable and automated buildings, connected home, integrated resource management and virtual design and construction.

The first 12 competitors will be developing solutions for the integrated transport and sustainable buildings stream of the challenge. For the next 12 weeks, the start-ups, with a little help from experienced technology mentors, will try to implement their ideas while being based right at the heart of Canary Wharf.

“We launched the Cognicity Challenge in order to promote the development of smart cities technology and the interoperability of systems in future cities,” said Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive Officer of Canary Wharf Group. “Welcoming these chosen smart cities start-up companies to Canary Wharf is a natural continuation of the Group’s original aim to create the cityscapes of and for the
future”

The six sustainable building competitors include cloud-based intelligent lighting system 8point3, manufacturer of ultra-lightweight and flexible solar panels Solar Cloth, Pavegen, which is developing flooring technology capable of converting kinetic energy from footsteps into renewable electricity and Polysolar, a company seeking to prevent buildings overheating while also generating electricity through their glass technology.

Among the six integrated transport contenders are South African MellowCabs with its on-demand electric mini-cabs, Pie Mapping and Voyage Control, both focused on optimising freight traffic, and intelligent transport technology developers Alchera Technologies and BuzzStreet.

“As the developer of London's original smart city, Canary Wharf Group is delighted to be working with these high-calibre finalist companies to help further develop their products and solutions,” said Eric Van der Kleij, Head of Level39 at Canary Wharf. “The winning technologies will be piloted within the existing Canary Wharf estate, with the goal of embedding their solutions into the fabric of the new phase of Canary Wharf.”

The best solution in each category will be awarded £50,000. The winning technologies will be tested during a ‘pilot phase’ starting for the first two streams at the end of April 2015.

The Cognicity Challenge was launched on 21 October 2014 and comprises six streams, two of which - connected homes and virtual design and construction - are still open for applications online.

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