Olympic Park Turns Into Cutting-Edge Tech Testbed

Future Cities Catapult has today announced the winners of £40,000 funding for UK SMEs to develop, test and showcase innovative technology solutions in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Drawing on the legacy of the Olympic Games, the Government-supported centre for urban innovation invited SMEs to submit applications to encourage healthy and sustainable behaviours through technology.

Together with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), four successful proposals have been selected, each receiving £10,000 to trial their solutions to residents and visitors within the park and surrounding areas. Technologies tackling social isolation, increasing health and eco-friendly activities, plus navigating the park with real-time data, will be deployed till the end of September 2017.

The winning SMEs are:

  • Betterpoints: A behaviour change incentivisation scheme encouraging the local community to undertake health, wellbeing and eco-friendly activities, for which they are rewarded with points that can be exchanged for high street rewards
  • OpenPlay: A sports marketplace that connects sporting facilities to individuals, encourages people to be more actice and enables people to make new connections
  • Living Map: A data platform and digital map that could enable the community and visitors to navigate, locate and move around the Park with greater ease
  • The Ecological Sequestration Trust and Groundwork London: A digital social-feed encouraging active lifestyles to local people who may be at risk of social isolation
    The competition is part of the Capstone project, a collaboration between Future Cities Catapult, Intel Labs Europe, Imperial College and University College London. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the ability of the Internet of Things interventions to solve real urban challenges in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Scott Cain, Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult, said:

“Quite rightly, our health and wellbeing in our cities is a hot topic at the moment, and it’s about more than sport. People want to feel good and that’s why we’re working with startups and entrepreneurs to encourage healthy behaviour and human interaction.

“The 2012 Games positioned London centre-stage as a sporting and pro-active nation and in terms of legacy and urban renewal. Our work in the Olympic Park will build on this legacy, by making the park a hotbed for innovation and tech and positioning the UK as a leader in next generation connectivity.

“Here at Future Cities Catapult we work closely with startups and SMEs to develop and test disruptive technologies, creating happy, healthy and more sustainable cities”.

Sam Parton, co-founder and CEO at OpenPlay, said:
“OpenPlay are delighted to be working with Future Cities Catapult and LLDC to get more people active in and around the Olympic Park.

“The park is the home of the Olympic Legacy and we’re working to make better use of existing assets in the area and to unearth activities taking place within them.

“The Open Call is a great way of showcasing how we can encourage people to adopt healthier behaviours and make new human connections”.