As one of the original sponsors of WhereCampEU, it is a real pleasure to have them back again. GeoVation’s mission is to help people jumpstart their geo infused plans and give them the support they need to make their ideas happen. It does this by running innovation challenges designed to encourage the use of geography in addressing specific needs.
The current challenge, ‘How Can we improve Transport in Britain’, is looking to you to transform how we all get from A-B, and has £150,000 in seed funding to help you do it. The challenge is open to anyone, using any geography, so get your thinking caps on! The cash comes from the Ideas in Transit project which in itself is funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the Department for Transport and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, with all the funds going to support the winning entrants.
In addition, Ordnance Survey is providing a £7,000 prize for the person that makes the most innovative use of OS OpenData, so there is a big incentive to get involved.
The Ideas in Transit project is a collaboration between the University of the West of England, Loughborough University, ITO World and Ordnance Survey. It seeks to apply “bottom-up” innovations to the transport challenges faced by individuals and society, such as congestion and the rising cost of fuel. So its support for the GeoVation Challenge is a perfect fit.
The GeoVation team will be at WhereCampUK to talk more about the challenge and how geography can make a difference to everyone’s lives. Chris Parker, one of the GeoVation organisers says: “Transport is something that has an obvious geographic foundation and I believe that we’re going to see ideas emerge that could improve our public services and could change how we travel. We need the support of WhereCampers and I’m exciting about what they could come up with.”
So if you fancy getting your hands on a slice of £150,000, the place to start is on the GeoVation website. From there all shortlisted entries will be invited to develop their ideas at a GeoVation Camp before going on to pitch head to head for funding at a “Dragons’ Den” style showcase next year. The challenge runs from 28 September–26 November.