Entrepreneurs with innovative smart data ideas encouraged to enter competition for share of £20,000

Entrepreneurs with innovative smart data ideas encouraged to enter competition for share of £20,000
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Thu 26th Oct 2023

Innovators, entrepreneurs, academia and civil society are being encouraged to share ideas that could harness smart data to benefit individuals and small businesses.

The Smart Data Discovery Challenge is seeking suggestions to understand what data innovators think could be possible.

Smart data enables consumers and small businesses to access and share their data simply and securely with authorised third parties, enabling those third parties to provide them with innovative services.

Open Banking is an example of smart data. It is estimated that new commercial opportunities created by personal data mobility could increase GDP by £28bn.

The Smart Data Discovery Challenge is particularly keen to encourage ideas that cut across sectors, including:

  • Financial services

  • Energy

  • Retail

  • Transport

  • Home buying

The challenge will also consider other potential data that might be unlocked from other sectors, such as telecoms.

A longlist of ideas will be selected with the most promising ideas supported to refine the solutions with expert mentorship.

The Smart Data Discovery Challenge, run by Department for Business and Trade, Challenge Works, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Smart Data Foundry, will host a hybrid event in March 2024 at which the most innovative cross-sector use case ideas will be pitched. The best will be rewarded with cash prizes from a £20,000 fund.

If the challenge demonstrates that there is the opportunity for smart data to improve services for consumers and SMEs, and that there is an active innovator base ready to take advantage of them, the aim is to launch a Smart Data Prize later in 2024 with a share of £750,000 available to participants.

The closing date for entries to the Smart Data Challenge is 4pm on 8 December 2023.

Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

"Smart data has the potential to help create solutions to real life issues that consumers face on a daily basis as well as supporting small firms across the country and helping to grow the economy.

"Smart data is already helping consumers via Open Banking and I am excited to see what other game changing technology this challenge launching today will produce from our nations' innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly in the energy, SME finance and home buying sectors."

Louise Burke, CEO at the ODI, added:

"Innovators that take part in the Smart Data Discovery Challenge will join a community of cutting-edge and creative thinkers to help us to shape the direction of a potential Smart Data Prize in 2024.

"We want creative people from across industry, academia and civil society to join the conversation about opening up services using smart data to make people's lives better, and enrich our national data infrastructure."

Relevant Enterprise Nation resources

Advice on using tech tools to boost productivity in Enterprise Nation's Tech Hub

Lunch and Learn: Use digital data to grow your business

New UK/US 'data bridge': What could it mean for small businesses?

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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