Innovators from across Europe have just over a week left to put forward their project ideas for community energy solutions as part of a pioneering Open Data Challenge run by Bristol City Council, Nesta and the Open Data Institute (ODI).
Bristol is acting as the test-bed for the project, which encourages people to use open data to come up with fresh ideas for schemes which allow people to group-buy the energy to save money, take action in the community to improve energy efficiency or even start communities generating their own energy.
Anyone can take part but it is hoped that entries will come from a range of teams including businesses, start-ups, social enterprises, individuals, community groups, academics, students and special interest groups, all of which will use open data to build products and services that support the aim of the project.
Project idea need to be submitted by Sunday 16 March for a chance to make it through to Bristol’s Creation Weekend (22-23 March) where teams get together and pitch to become one of the three finalists for the last stage of the Challenge. The Challenge Weekend is a major milestone in the programme of events that Bristol is putting together as part of the British Energy Challenge.
To take part people can submit their project idea on the participant platform online at http://collabfinder.com/groups/energy-environment-open-data-challenge.
Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said:
“Bristol is increasingly being recognised as a test-bed for new ideas and this is one of many practical projects where the city will benefit from encouraging new ways of doing things.
“As European Green Capital for 2015 it’s absolutely fitting that we spend this year looking for energy saving projects and methods to benefit communities. Bristol will be the first to benefit from the results, though of course the winning schemes will be ideas that can be applied nationally and across the world.”
In order to give participants a stronger opportunity to develop ideas from open data ODI and Nesta will also provide business mentoring support after the Creation Weekend for the three finalists. They will get support from the ODI in the form of data expertise and Nesta will provide help potential businesses hone and market their products and provide evidence of their likely impact.
Ed Parkes, Programme Manager for the Open Data Challenge Series, Nesta, said:
“Open Data is increasingly playing an important role in our public services and many are making more available. Community energy is one such area in which we believe open data can support fascinating products and services that get more people directly involved. We are looking forward to working with Bristol City Council and seeing the range of prototypes people come up with.”
Anyone with an idea for a project which could help towards meet the aims of the Challenge and could develop into a sustainable organisation can add their profile and idea to Challenge participant platform by Sunday 16 March for a chance to make it through to the Creation Weekend in Bristol.
Bristol City Council and the Federation of Small Businesses are organising a Meet the Supplier event for 25 June 2014 in Bristol.
Buyers frequently find it too time consuming to sort through the myriad of local suppliers to find those who might be able to offer them something better. Smaller businesses, often with innovative products and services, can find it difficult to make effective approaches to larger buyers.
The Meet the Supplier solution should streamline the process for both sides – shortening supply chains, saving money, improving products/services for the buyers and improving your corporate social responsibility, whilst boosting the small business sector and delivering a positive economic impact to the Bristol region.
Each participating buyer will be invited to send along a buyer/procurement officer for a series of short (15 minute) one to one meetings with various sellers they have pre-selected – you would only see businesses you have chosen as having goods or services you need. It should provide a very cost effective way of meeting or identifying new suppliers and, because of the pre-filtering process, you would only see companies particularly relevant to your requirements.
For buyers there is a small fee to cover refreshments, administration and exhibition space – this will be £30 + VAT.
Please let Jason Thorne at Bristol City Council know if you are interested in take part, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 0117 922 2042
This meet up of creative web and digital folks is hosting two top Bristol guest speakers, Clare Reddington, Director of iShed and The Pervasive Media Studio, talking about Playable Cities and the Hello Lamppost project, as well as VAN & Rubber Republic co-founder, Chris Quigley, talking about how brands can engineer virality. Sign up for a ticket here.
Do you have an innovative digital idea with the potential to address a specific societal challenge? Would your idea benefit from financial support for further development? Perhaps CHEST can help you. CHEST is an EU funded project focusing on digital social innovation. The project is launching a series of open calls with funding for local initiatives and local partners.
The project is a test bed project aiming to stimulate digital social innovation across the EU. It has 2.5 million Euros to invest in both innovative ideas and projects that can benefit society/European citizens, based on digital media (websites, mobiles apps, etc).
6K Euros are available just for the submission of ideas, with up to 150K Euros being offered to the best plans to develop them into working prototypes. The funding will cover up to 10% of the project costs.
The project is actively looking to encourage ideas from as broad a range of people as possible, particularly from individuals and communities who experience specific social challenges who have ideas to address them.
There are also opportunities for people with relevant expertise (in digital, social or innovation) who can help determine which projects receive funding.
For more information and to make an application, visit the CHEST website.
Rewired State are hosting the National Hack the Government event at five locations across the Country. The events bring together people from a range of different backgrounds to come up with ideas and then build apps using open data with the goal of improving local and national Government services.
Information about the venues, themes and signing up are available from from the Hack the Government website;
Applications are now open for the Energy and Environment Open Data Challenge. You can start to put your ideas up on the participant platform here. Further details of the datasets which are available and the process for getting involved can be found here. Nesta and the Open Data Institute have been developing this challenge over the last couple of months along with Bristol City Council where the Creation Weekend will be held on 22nd and 23rd March.
A Challenge Definition Day was held in October where it was identified there was an opportunity to innovate with open data which would support the developing work on community energy. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently published their Community Energy Strategy which focused on creating a supportive environment for community energy and removing specific barriers to growth. Research for the strategy found at least 5,000 community energy groups active in the UK since 2008. Here DECC define community energy as community projects or initiatives focused on reducing energy use, managing energy better, generating energy or purchasing energy.
The challenge invites teams to see how open data can be applied to three of these aims. Teams including businesses, start-ups, social enterprises, community groups, academics, students and special interest groups will use open data to build products and services that support communities to:
1. Group buy their energy and save money;
2. Undertake community based energy efficiency interventions; and
3. Start to generate their own energy.
The aim is to help individuals and teams generate new products and services for communities at the end of the challenge process. The challenge prize methodology is designed so that hopefully these open data driven solutions can speak to real issues. The challenge will be for organisations to match these issues with available open data sets to generate a solution in the form of a new product or service.
Bristol City Council are also working on the delivery of the Creation Weekend for this Challenge – the weekend where teams get together and pitch to become one of the three finalists for the last stage of the Challenge. Bristol has a heritage of supporting community energy projects and also has a number of existing businesses and startups exploring the opportunities around cleantech. In addition, the city will become European Green Capital in 2015.
In order to give participants a stronger opportunity to develop ideas from open data there will also be incubation and business mentoring support after the Creation Weekend for the three finalists. They will get support will from the ODI in the form of data expertise and Nesta will provide support, helping potential businesses hone and market their products and evidence their likely impact.
This work builds on activity which has come before. For instance, Nesta undertook the Big Green Challenge which was a £1 million challenge prize designed to stimulate and support community-led responses to climate change. The Energy Saving Trust has made available a number of tools and how to guides available to groups wanting to run their own community energy projects. Building on this work, we hope to spur innovation with open data which could be used to support this activity. Through using a challenge prize methodology we are bringing together interested partners and provide a focus for activity and a range of further support.
The key dates are:
14 February: The challenge will open to applications
Register your interest with CollabFinder, and join the discussion by engaging with the data and posting a project idea.
3 March: Meet up for interested parties in Bristol
Come and discuss your ideas, meet some people, scope out the competition, network.
16 March: Deadline for applications to the Innovation and Creation Weekend
In order to get an invite to the Creation Weekend, you will need to register on CollabFinder and upload a description of your project.
22 + 23 March: Creation Weekend in Bristol
This is your chance to build and test your app, get feedback, and iterate before pitching to a prestigious panel of judges.
March – June: The three finalists refine their product
June: Grand prize of up to £40,000 awarded to the best product
If you have an idea for a project which could help towards the aims above and could develop into a sustainable organisation please add your profile and idea to the participant platform by 16th March for a chance to make it through to the Creation Weekend in Bristol.
South West Microelectronics iNet is looking for innovative companies in the South West to apply for the Microelectronics iNet Funding competition.
- Open to SMEs in all industry sectors
- Up to £10k grant available
- Easy application process, quick decision
The competition is being run to support the innovative use of microelectronics technology in new products and services.
To ensure the application process is as quick and easy as possible the iNet has arranged competition breakfast meetings where you can meet the team, have your questions answered and receive support in completing your application. These meetings will be held in Exeter on 8 April, Plymouth 9 April and Bristol 15 April. Get more information on the competition and application process on the South West Microelectronics iNet website or by contacting the support team by email email@example.com or telephone 0117 3286690.
Do you want a chance to get your hands on the latest exciting and innovative tech? Fancy trying out Google Glass, Oculus Rift, drones and iBeacons? Visit the SOMO Mobile Innovation Day at Engine Shed and get expert views on how the latest tech can help businesses and consumers. Two sessions will be running on 13th February, one from 12 to 2pm and another in the evening from 5pm to 7pm. Just registered on the SOMO site to let them know you’ll be coming along
Bristol City Council has launched a new type of app. The Heritage Eye app is free and now available on Android and IoS.
The City Design Group have published the first City Council smartphone app. Heritage Eye was funded by English Heritage and developed by Calvium software developers in partnership with City Design Group and Corporate Geographic Information Services (GIS).
The app enables members of the public to undertake their own Listed Building survey and assess whether the structure is suffering from neglect or abuse. A completed survey can then be submitted to Know Your Place for validation by Conservation Officers.
The app will contribute to the maintenance of Bristol’s buildings at risk register and help officers manage the heritage of the city.
A user guide has been produced as a downloadable pdf document.
Further information about the Listed Buildings and the buildings at risk register can be found here.
On Thursday January 30th, project partners from STEEP (Systems Thinking for Efficient Energy Planning), hosted a morning drop-in session for occupiers and stakeholders of the Temple Quarter- Enterprise Zone. The event provided an opportunity for local businesses, large organizations and other interested parties to come along and find out more about the project.
A copy of the presentation for the session is available to download below, and provides details of how people can get involved in the project, what they can expect in return and an introduction to the ’systems thinking methodology’ that is being utilized in STEEP:
Alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Bristol is seeking high calibre engineering or science graduates to undertake an exciting research and development project leading to the creation of a sensor platform for healthcare in a residential environment. There are two PhD vacancies within the SPHERE project, a multidisciplinary team which aims to address the real world health and wellbeing challenges that face 21st Century societies, SPHERE is a £12m interdisciplinary research collaboration funded by EPSRC.
The SPHERE project aims to develop a platform to be used as an early warning system to detect and/or prevent long-term medical conditions such as heart disease, dementia, diabetes as well as depression and obesity. The sensors could also benefit the older population by helping to prevent falls.
There are opportunities to join the following University of Bristol research groups:
- Communication Systems and Networks Group
- Vision Group
- Electrical Energy Management Group
- Data Fusion and Data Mining
Visit the jobs.ac.uk website for more information and to apply.
Launched in September 2011, Get IT Together Bristol focuses on increasing digital inclusion in the Bristol area for anyone 55 or over, disabled adults and their adults carers through providing free, basic IT courses.
A partnership between Bristol City Council, Citizens Online and BT, the project is proud to have now helped over 1200 people use a mouse and keyboard, navigate Windows, search the internet and use email. In the last year, Kerry Bradshaw and the volunteers she manages have delivered 51 five week courses, and the team now runs 12 regular 5-week courses on an on-going basis throughout the city as well as one-off courses and taster sessions.
The ethos of the project continues to be increasingly important, with the changes in Welfare Reform pushing more people online and Bristol City Council encouraging more people to access council services online.
At the heart of the project is a partnership approach that has gone from strength to strength, and the team continue to work with 22 close partners including Bristol Libraries, Link Age, Local Learning (Learn Direct), Job Centre Plus, The Vassall Centre Trust, Bristol Older People’s Forum, North Bristol Advice Centre, Housing 21, Bristol City Council’s Learning Communities Team and the Tithe Barn. The partners now promote courses collectively, meeting on a much more regular basis to share ideas, cross refer people and plan for a more cohesive digital inclusion offering in Bristol.
The success of the project would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers. This year the project has trained 8 new volunteers – with some having full time jobs and giving up half a day a week to help out with the courses. Putting a focus on best practice, the project has successfully run two train-the-trainer sessions this year which has resulted in improvements to course packs as well as volunteer co-ordination and training.
To increase awareness of the courses, the project has increased promotion through social networking, local radio appearances and the launch of a new website. The project has also introduced marketing at cinemas, betting shops, cafes, charity shops and Bingo Halls. Watch the project’s new videos to see who comes on our courses, Roy, Eileen & Shirley getting online & Reg getting online and losing his mouse ball .
With 90% of courses at full capacity, 10 venues eager for Get IT Together Bristol to start courses with them, existing courses booked up as much as three months in advance, and a waiting list of new learners, there is significant evidence that there massive potential in Bristol to expand the project. In 2014, the project will be looking to to embed itself even further in the digital inclusion landscape of Bristol, working to increase awareness of all courses, projects and individuals who are striving to help people to get online and reap the benefits that so many of us take for granted.
If you know someone who may benefit from the courses, pass on the project hotline 07785 462568 or email Kerry.email@example.com
MySociety release ‘SayIT’, another another powerful tool opening up the content of debates and discussions
MySociety have a well earned reputation for producing usable and useful online tools that put political power back in the hands of the public. They Work For You, What Do They Know and Write To Them have made the political process more transparent and far easier to navigate. SayIt is a Poplus component which simplifies the process of publishing transcripts – in particular where they allow people to track the activities of politicians.
An investment fund of up to £8m to attract shoppers back to the high street by developing new and innovative solutions for retailing, service provision, logistics and travel management is available through a Technology Strategy Board Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). Registration is required to enter this competition, and closes on 26th Feb 2014. Visit the competition webpage for more information and to apply.
Have you recently finished your doctoral studies in Innovation Management? You could apply for the ISPIM award.
In order to stimulate the next generation of innovation researchers, ISPIM, John Wiley & Sons and Innovation Leaders are offering prizes worth over EUR 10,000 to the authors of the three best innovation management dissertations from 2013. The deadline for submission to the ISPIM PhD Innovation Management Dissertation Award is 31st January.
Full details of how to apply can be found at http://ispim.org/publications/ispim-dissertation-award/
Ignite is the UK’s first impact investment fund with a focus on energy. The fund has £10m to invest over the next 10 years. The scheme is targeted at projects that have a clear role to play in building a better society.
To apply for funding you should;
- Be in the energy or energy-related sector
- Have the potential to make a real social impact in the UK
- Be seeking a minimum of £50k of debt or equity investment
- Fulfill a clear social need and demand
- Have clear outputs and goals
For more information or to apply visit the Ignite website.
Further to Prior Information Notice 257542-2013, issued on 1st August 2013, Bristol City Council, as lead Authority are seeking to procure wireless concession(s) on behalf of ourselves and neighbouring Authorities – BANES, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset -within the West of England (WoE).
Four Lots have been identified all with the following over arching outcomes:
- Availability of region wide wireless
- Level of free usage available – Authority specific.
- Enable participation & inclusion within excluded areas
- Engage, attract & grow business
- Private sector investment leveraged
- Authority growth areas covered
- Wireless technology including 3G/4G,5G & beyond & Wi-Fi network available
- Revenue streams support local objectives
- Business growth hubs connected
- Cross border and local SME mobility addressed
- Corporate branded splash page – Authority specific
Accordingly a bidders’ forum will be held on Monday 13 January 2014 at 9.30, at City Hall, Bristol. The format for the session will be a presentation covering all the general points, followed by one-to-one, pre-booked slots. If you would like to book one of those slots, please do so when you register for the main session.
The team behind Bristol’s Digital Inclusion project – Get IT Together have been using Agile project management tools since it’s new coordinator, Kerry Bradshaw came into post in January. Agile is tool to visualise the tasks needed to complete a project and enable all team members to efficiently see, usually on a simple white board with post-it notes what tasks people are working on and when they will be delivered.
A recent article on the BBC about a ‘Start Up’ bus in Africa whose passengers are entrepreneurs devoted to problem-solving through technology, may of had some agile fans on board too. The passengers used the bus windows as brainstorming boards, with post-it notes arranged over the continuously changing view of the city where many of the issues they were working on reside.
Will First Bus will mind if we start sticking post it notes on their windows whilst having an impromptu scrum on journeys with colleagues? – you only need five minutes! no standing though…
To find out more about Get IT Together Bristol go to http://bristol-getittogether.btck.co.uk/
Over the last few years there has been a very considerable investment in upgrading the broadband capability of the UK. The Rural and Urban broadband programmes have seen hundreds of millions of pounds of capital investment in infrastructure with the ultimate goal of seeing a significant national uplift in jobs, growth and international competitiveness. But what might this uplift look like and when can we expect it? The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has commissioned the UK Broadband Impact Study report to explore this in some detail.