A Tamagotchi-style monitoring device for plants, hard hats with embedded GPS positioning and smartphones that recommend tailored training and rehabilitation programmes for athletes are just some of the ideas being pitched at the first IoTBoost UK event in Scotland.
The two-day workshop (February 17th and 18th) in Glasgow will see 18 of Scotland's most innovative SMEs go head-to-head in front of a panel of judges to win one month of incubation support and mentoring; aimed at helping the companies bring their commercial ideas to market. Up to five will be selected for the next phase of the competition.
Among the participants are smart grid analysis start-up Losstek, fuel management company FUELlink Systems, retail engagement specialist Tapp Story and local publishing and discovery platform Bubbal. All of the ideas presented will aim to find technological solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges using the Internet of Things (IoT), in areas such as smart cities, transport, environmental monitoring, energy efficiency and assisted living.
The rapid incubation seminars will be delivered by CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for sensor and imaging systems, The Data Lab, the University of Edinburgh's Informatics Ventures and IoTUK. Advice will also be on tap for funding, investment and Intellectual property issues.
Mark Begbie, Business Development Director at CENSIS, said: "The quality of the ideas submitted by our cohort of SMEs demonstrate the innovation and creativity incumbent in Scotland's business community. They are great examples of how the IoT can be applied to real-world problems and turned into a viable commercial idea. Hard hats with embedded GPS positioning could help manage safety and personnel on construction sites, while a Tamagotchi-type device for plants could help more people grow their own fruit and vegetables at home.
"The IoT has huge potential to change the way businesses and societies work; but few people have been able to put that into practice to date. We're looking forward to seeing in more detail how these pioneering Scottish SMEs plan to change that and bring the IoT to life during what will undoubtedly be an interesting and unique event."
The successful companies at IoTBoost UK will be supported with a programme of activity and access to expertise from CENSIS, The Data Lab, Informatics Ventures and IoTUK. Focus will be placed on cultivating valuable links with other organisations and developing a robust and fundable idea for a product or service.
They will also be given the opportunity to work with a range of organisations, such as the Scottish Cities Alliance, to develop new product and service ideas.
After a competitive bidding process, CENSIS was selected as one of four regional partners for the IoTUK Boost initiative, along with DataCity – Leeds, Cambridge Wireless Ltd. and Sunderland Software City.