£20,000 competition to solve West Midlands urban challenges

Last updated on: December 4, 2017, Author: Editorial Team


The mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)  launched a contest encouraging firms to create solutions for four key public-service areas as part of it’s ‘Urban Challenge’:

  • Wellbeing
  • Homelessness
  • Youth unemployment
  • Digital citizenship.

The competition, which is being run in conjunction with Public.io, which runs an incubator programme for government technology firms will provide winners with a £20,000 prize in the form in cash and Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits together with a three-month pilot scheme in which to develop their winning proposals.

The four urban challenges

Challenge 1: Wellbeing

  • What innovative ways are there to improve health and wellbeing outcomes using digital technology
  • How can we better support people who need it most through better connectivity, personalisation and self-directed support?
  • How can we use digital platforms to support better mental health and wellbeing across the region?

Challenge 2: Housing

  • Which new technologies can speed up the process of building high quality homes and connected attractive places?
  • How can smart in-home technology be used to reduce energy, improve social care and improve quality of life?
  • How can they deliver economic opportunities for West Midlands businesses and the supply chain?

Challenge 3: Youth unemployment

  • What innovative technologies are there to support young people to better understand local job, training and entrepreneurship opportunities?
  • How can we ensure disadvantaged communities share in the job creation that is occurring in the region?
  • What can digital technology do to help our region’s businesses to identify the skills needs of the future?

Challenge 4: Digital citizenship

  • How can digital technology be used to drive improved communication with citizens?
  • How can smart deployment of data drive transparency around progress towards key regional priorities?
  • How can customer service and the visibility of local services be improved by tech firms delivering solutions in other sectors?


The competition home page can be found here: https://urbanchallenge.io/

The judging panel has been drawn from industry and the WMCA.