Innovation challenge helps transform social care through technology

Manchester-based initiative to ease pressure on health and social care services through data-driven solutions

An innovation challenge has been launched to find a solution that uses data from home monitoring systems to trigger interventions for the elderly.

In a bid to reduce pressure on health services, the Open Innovation initiative has been launched by Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), who are looking to work with some of the UK’s best Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a vision to transforming Manchester through the use of smart technologies.

Without collaboration, any effort to solve the challenges facing society today fails at the first hurdle

The social care challenge is one of four covered. The project will also support entries within the transport and travel sector, and energy and the environment, as well as a ‘wildcard’ category.

Convened by CityVerve, the UK’s smart city demonstrator, the competition will see eight SMEs selected to participate in an eight-week initiative in Manchester to combine technology, data and creativity to tackle some of the city’s biggest problems in healthcare, transport and energy.

Commencing in March the initiative gives firms the opportunity to work with partners from public sector, corporate and academic worlds who are part of the CityVerve Internet of Things (IoT) test bed. The eight selected SMEs from across the UK will have the opportunity to put their innovative solutions to the test, in a real-life situation.

Nick Chrissos, director of innovation at Cisco in Europe, said: “Without collaboration, any effort to solve the challenges facing society today fails at the first hurdle.

“No one organisation can truly do it alone. The answer lies in co-innovation and this approach is fundamental to the Open Innovation challenges.

“This is an exciting opportunity not only for our country’s best SMEs to test their technology; but for us to work with them. We are looking forward to seeing what solutions are created to help solve challenges facing Manchester not only today, but in the future.”

Selected SMEs will be given unparalleled access to industry leaders in the smart city and IoT sector. Additionally, Cisco will be offering the opportunity to scale solutions through its global sales channels, while MSP and Growth Studio will provide product development and business masterclasses, as well as access to investors in the smart cities space.

We hope to attract some of the most-innovative technology SMEs in the UK to deploy some market-leading smart city solutions which not only improve key services in Manchester, but can be exported to cities globally

SMEs will receive a £5,000 grant and the opportunity to showcase their technology to industry leaders at the CityVerve demo day later in 2018.

Anne Dornan, head of innovation and partnerships at MSP, said: “This is a hugely-exciting part of the CityVerve demonstrator project where city partners have the opportunity to source and co-develop genuinely innovative solutions and trial them in a real-world environment.

“We hope to attract some of the most-innovative technology SMEs in the UK to work with the support of committed civic partners and global industry players to deploy some market-leading smart city solutions which not only improve key services in Manchester, but can be exported to cities globally.

Applications for the four Open Innovation challenge briefs close on 14 February and fast-track selection days will be held on 15 and 16 February. The final selection day will be held on 5 March 2018 and the challenge will end in May.

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