Announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in March, the UK government will spend an extra £45m on developing ‘Internet of Things" technology, making a total investment of £73 million available to UK technology firms working on everyday devices that can communicate over the internet.
The competition is open to all European entrepreneurs, as long as their company is registered in the UK and has a working connection with either the London or Cambridge tech clusters. Supported by EE, John Lewis and Unilever, the Launchpad competition will provide support to the winning SMEs in a variety of ways from offering match funding right through to offering retail space across selected EE stores, business and marketing support along with mentorship, and distributing new products developed as a direct result of the programme. The closing date for submissions, to be made over video, is 3 September 2014.
This initiative comes on the back of research by US research firm Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, that predicts there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the internet of things by 2020.
CW, the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile technologies, focused its 2013 annual conference; The Future of Wireless International Conference on the ‘IOT’ and saw trends that this booming market creates a wealth of opportunities not just for the global giants but for UK SMEs.
“UK wireless innovation among SMEs is at its peak” said Soraya Jones, CEO of CW. “We have seen a surge of promising business, academic and amateur entrepreneurs driving tech innovation forward, the agile nature of SMEs allow them to react to market needs, with less restrictions that we see in the larger corporations in bringing their ideas to market. Year on year, we are seeing rising SMEs make their mark within tech innovation and we are delighted to be one of the cluster champions supporting UK SMEs, working closely with our partner in Tech City UK.”
Gerard Grech, Tech City UK CEO said: “The Internet of Things is a transformative development, representing a major growth area and economic opportunity. With our expertise in both software and hardware, we believe Britain can be a major player in this space.”
“It’s vital that we create the right conditions to enable digital businesses to pioneer in the Internet of Things. I’m therefore extremely excited that this Launchpad competition has attracted the support of a number of leading brands. It’s the right time for the public and private sector to support the development of the Internet of Things as it has the potential to impact on and transform many of the services and products we reply on in our daily lives. I can’t wait to see what is created.”
Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital, Technology Strategy Board said: “This is the second Launchpad Programme which we have run in the digital space. We have seen a number of fantastic innovative SMEs taking their ideas from concept to commercialisation as a direct result of the programme, and the support our private sector partners are offering applicants, provides a truly unique opportunity that these start-ups rarely get access to.”
CW will be holding an event to launch the competition in Cambridge on 8th July at the Moller Centre in Cambridge, details for application and further information can be found at www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/
About Cambridge Wireless (CW)
CW is the leading international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless & mobile, internet, semiconductor and software technologies. With 400 members from major network operators and device manufacturers to innovative start-ups and universities, CW stimulates debate and collaboration, harnesses and shares knowledge, and helps to build connections between academia and industry.
CW's 20 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide its members with a dynamic forum where they can network with their peers, track the latest technology trends and business developments and position their organisations in key market sectors. CW also organises the annual Future of Wireless International Conference and Discovering Start-ups competition along with other high-quality industry networking events and dinners. With headquarters at the heart of Cambridge, UK, CW partners with other international industry clusters and organisations to extend its reach and remain at the forefront of global developments and business opportunities. For more information, please visit www.cambridgewireless.co.uk
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