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Real Health Benefits Delivered in London's Olympic Park

Future Cities Catapult have unveiled initiatives from UK SMEs that have delivered health benefits in London’s Olympic Park, as part of their new Healthy Cities exhibition. Launched last night (16 Nov) at its Urban Innovation Centre in London, the interactive installation explores how mental, social and physical aspects of cities impacts citizens.

For the last eight months Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been a cutting-edge test-bed for technology as part of the Capstone project, a collaboration between Future Cities Catapult, the London Legacy Development Corporation, Intel Labs Europe, Imperial College and University College London.

Four UK SMEs were each awarded £10,000 funding to develop innovative solutions using Internet of Things (IoT) interventions to increase healthy and active behaviour amongst visitors and residents in the park and surrounding areas.

The SMEs deployed and tested prototypes to tackle social isolation, increase health and eco-friendly activities, and help visitors and residents navigate the park with real-time data.

Speaking from the launch, Scott Cain, Chief Business Officer at Future Cities Catapult said:

“At Future Cities Catapult we work with businesses to develop and test disruptive technologies, helping to commercialise innovative ideas and create healthy, happy and sustainable cities. That’s why we’ve collaborated to create an urban test bed in a world-leading city, delivering transformative technologies.

“With the Capstone project we set out to improve the life of people In and around the park, continuing to build on the legacy of the 2012 Games.”

The four SME initiatives were:

  • Betterpoints is an application that enables users to earn points as they exercise, which is recorded in the app. In order to incentivise people to walk, run or cycle the park, extra points were offered per minute of activity performed in the park, which could be exchanged for high street vouchers or donated to a local community group.
  • OpenPlay launched a sports marketplace, making it easier for people to find and book local facilities by connecting sporting facilities to individuals, and enabling people to make new connections. Users can create profiles that specify their preferences for a particular sport, allowing other users to connect with them and facilitate more experiences.
  • Living Map designed a detailed, layered map of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park making it easier for users to navigate the park and encourages people to get out and explore. The map featured live date as well as bio-diversity routes and lit routes for people wanting to travel through the park after sunset.
  • The Ecological Sequestration Trust in collaboration with Groundwork London created a SMS service encouraging local people at risk of social isolation to visit the park. Participants receives a weekly text with weather forecast, suggested travel routes (including disruptions), activities and the telephone number of QEOP information line.

Ben Edmonds, Smart Sustainable Districts Programme Manager at the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“We’re very pleased to have been involved in such an innovative and rewarding project in our part of East London, which is now one of the major European test beds, and we feel very fortunate to have worked with such brilliant and passionate people.

“Using data to better understand our district and to change behaviours has allowed us to support healthier lifestyles for those who visit, work and live in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This year has seen some fantastic achievements and we’re now very excited about what 2018 will bring.”

Tim Fendley, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Living Map, said:

“Working with Future Cities team on the Capstone project has been a fantastic experience. We’ve been able to co-author and develop a solution that tackles critical health and wellbeing issues in the park, tap into their expertise, and access a number of invaluable new partners via the programme.”

Duncan Wilson, Director, ICRI Cities at Intel Labs said:

“We were delighted to work with Future Cities Catapult, the SMEs, Imperial College London and University College London on this project. Utilising data and harnessing digital tools to impact citizens lives is something we strive to deliver. The Capstone project provided us with the opportunity to bring together the worlds of data and health to create a new digitally-focused community that can access emerging technologies to enhance their own lives and the lives of others.”


Built to host the London 2012 Olympics, the park is 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 (LLDC) 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.

Four successful proposals were selected after the completion of the competition, with each receiving £10,000 to trial their solutions till the end of September 2017 to residents and visitors within the park and London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.

For media requests or further information about Capstone, 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

About the London Legacy Development Corporation

Formed in April 2012, the London Legacy Development Corporation’s purpose is to use the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the London 2012 Games and the creation of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to develop a dynamic new heart for east London, creating opportunities for local people and driving innovation and growth in London and the UK.

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