See.Sense – a technology company based in Northern Ireland – picked up the the BT Infinity Lab SME Awards 2016: Connected Cities for its ICON intelligent and connected cycle light, which was judged to have the greatest potential to make a difference to the cities of the future. They will now have the opportunity to work with MK:Smart to turn their dream into a reality.
Run in partnership with the Cabinet Office, the MK:Smart Project and TechHub, the scheme invited SMEs to showcase their big ideas for future digital products and services, in areas such as health and social care, transport and education, employment and skills and across the wider public sector.
The company walked away with £15,000 prize money plus six months’ membership of TechHub, a global community set up to help technological entrepreneurs and start-ups.
As well as being a market-leading cycle light that keeps cyclists safer on the road, ICON contains sensors which collect high-quality data about any crashes, near miss-events, road surfaces, light levels and more. This information can then be used by city planners to create better cycling infrastructure and smart cities.
Irene McAleese, co-founder and chief marketing officer of See.Sense, said: “Having the opportunity to develop our idea into something that will really help transform cities of the future and make a real impact on society is really exciting. Working with Milton Keynes will also be a fantastic case study to showcase our capabilities.”
The competition gave small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the chance to showcase their big ideas for innovative digital products and services to help cities become more connected, efficient and sustainable. Split into three categories – Smart City, Connected Society and the Internet of Things – with one being crowned overall winner, entries were received from 70 companies, with just eight making the final shortlist.
Each was invited to pitch ideas in a “Dragons’ Den” style showdown to a panel of industry experts from the Cabinet Office, the Department for Transport, TechHub, Milton Keynes Council, NHS England and BT.
The awards were fiercely contested and, after much deliberation, See.Sense won the Smart City prize as well as being judged the overall winner.