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London's Olympic Park turns into cutting-edge tech testbed

Future Cities Catapult has today (23 February) announced the winners of £40,000 funding for UK SMEs to develop, test and showcase innovative technology solutions in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Drawing on the legacy of the Olympic Games, the Government-supported centre for urban innovation invited SMEs to submit applications to encourage healthy and sustainable behaviours through technology.

Together with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), four successful proposals have been selected, each receiving £10,000 to trial their solutions to residents and visitors within the park and surrounding areas. Technologies tackling social isolation, increasing health and eco-friendly activities, plus navigating the park with real-time data, will be deployed till the end of September 2017.

The winning SMEs are:


  • Betterpoints: A behaviour change incentivisation scheme encouraging the local community to undertake health, wellbeing and eco-friendly activities, for which they are rewarded with points that can be exchanged for high street rewards
  • Openplay: A sports marketplace that connects sporting facilities to individuals, encourages people to be more active and enables people to make new connections
  • Living Map: A data platform and digital map that could enable the community and visitors to navigate, locate and move around the Park with greater ease
  • The Ecological Sequestration Trust and Groundwork London: A digital social-feed encouraging active lifestyles to local people who may be at risk of social isolation

The competition is part of the Capstone project, a collaboration between Future Cities Catapult, Intel Labs Europe, Imperial College and University College London. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the ability of the Internet of Things interventions to solve real urban challenges in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Scott Cain, Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult, said:

“Health and wellbeing in our cities is a hot topic at the moment, but it’s about more than sport. People want to feel good and that’s why we’re working with SMEs to encourage healthy behaviour and human interaction.

“The 2012 Games positioned London on the world stage. Our work in the Olympic Park will build on the legacy started by our sporting greats, by making the Park a hotbed for innovation and tech and positioning the UK as a leader in connectivity.

“Here at Future Cities Catapult we work closely with SMEs and startups to develop and test disruptive technologies, creating healthy, happy and sustainable cities”.

Sam Parton, co-founder and CEO at OpenPlay, said:

“OpenPlay are delighted to be working with Future Cities Catapult and LLDC to get more people active in and around the Olympic Park.

“The park is the home of the Olympic Legacy and we’re working to make better use of existing assets in the area and to unearth activities taking place within them.

“The Open Call is a great way of showcasing how we can encourage people to adopt healthier behaviours and make new human connections”.


Built to host the London 2012 Olympics, the park is now open for the public to explore its 6.5km of waterways, 560 acres of open spaces, and multiple attractions and venues. It is managed by London Legacy Development Corporation and is used as a test-bed for showcasing urban technologies. In the long term, the aim is to ensure the park becomes a hotbed for innovation and cutting-edge technology.

For further information about Capstone, or the projects listed, contact Naomi Moore on nmoore@futurecities.catapult.org.uk / 07718 584331

About Future Cities Catapult                                

Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. We bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.

From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

We help innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, we help spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

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About Catapult centres
The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Catapults network has been established by Innovate UK. For more information visit catapult.org.uk

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