Polysolar and Voyage Control have been selected as the first two winners in Canary Wharf Group’s (CWG) Smart Cities accelerator, the Cognicity Challenge. The innovators were competing in a twelve-week accelerator programme at Canary Wharf under the ‘Sustainable Buildings’ and ‘Integrated Transportation’ streams of the competition.

Cognicity’s accelerator programme aims to fast-track promising smart city technology businesses by providing a series of intensive workshops, expert mentoring sessions by a team of Canary Wharf specialists and business mentors, and excellent networking opportunities.

At the end of the programme each entrant delivers a business plan and pitches to CWG executives, with the winning projects taken forward to the pilot stage. The Challenge brings together a diverse range of companies, from Big Data firms to renewable energy providers, and encourages them to work in a collaborative environment. Support is also provided by Intel who are collaborating with the Cognicity Challenge to provide best practice guidance and technology to the participants.

The winners each receive a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to pilot their business plan in London’s Canary Wharf.

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canary Wharf Group plc, said: “The Cognicity Challenge is helping to ensure we have access to some of the most important innovations in smart, sustainable cities. We want Canary Wharf to remain one of the most sustainable, convenient and technologically advanced ‘cityscapes’ in the world, and the Cognicity Challenge is helping us improve even further our unique approach to property development. With Cognicity we are very pleased to be playing a key role in moving smart cities from concept to reality.”

The companies chosen from the initial two accelerator streams were announced at yesterday’s showcase at Level39, Europe’s largest accelerator space for fintech, retail, cyber security and smart city technologies.

Polysolar photo

The winner of the ‘Sustainable Buildings’ stream, Polysolar, has developed transparent, thin-film solar PV glass panels which can be integrated into a building’s external structure to generate clean energy. Their solution can be easily retrofitted into existing buildings, as well as being integrated into new-builds. The Cambridge-based firm has already completed projects for the Barbican and the Future Business Centre.

Voyage Control - image CW

The winner of the ‘Integrated Transportation’ stream, Voyage Control, is a company that aims to optimise the freight industry through advanced logistics management, tracking and data-gathering. Their system also matches customers with empty trucks to utilise spare capacity, reducing costs and emissions in the process. More than 13,000 businesses already use the platform, and have collectively saved over 150,000 hours of wasted journey time.

Both companies will now work with key Canary Wharf specialists to deploy their pilot within Canary Wharf.

The final 12 companies to join the Cognicity Challenge for the Connected Home and Virtual Design & Construction accelerator streams will be announced on Monday 20 April 2015, bringing the total number of Cognicity Challenge finalists to 36.

More information about the Cognicity Challenge can be found here.

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