– Hyperlocal media competition launched by Nesta and Technology Strategy Board

Innovation agencies Nesta and Technology Strategy Board have opened registration for Destination Local Demonstrators – a new hyperlocal media competition which will invest £2.5 million in projects that provide online news or content services to local communities.

The competition is looking for entries that demonstrate the potential for technology-led news or content services to specific geographical locations across the UK; enable people to connect more easily with their communities; and provide evidence for the commercial and social potential of new services.

Between three and five projects across the UK will be backed by the competition to support the development of new forms of hyperlocal media information and content services. It is estimated that projects will range in size from £700, 000 to £1.4 million1.

Entries to the competition can be submitted by technology, content and community focused organisations of any size that will go on to form business-led partnerships. Successful competition applicants will develop projects that will lead to or focus on one or more of the following:

Technologies that support urban hyperlocal media services, as a potential alternative service to local digital television, targeted at mobile consumption

Services that deliver valuable hyperlocal services to rural areas

Platforms that enable new advertising system

The development of geographically-based APIs (application programming interfaces ) that can feed third-party services

Interactive platforms that aggregate current (and evolving) content and information services pointing to a geographical location, and that have the capability to track audience demand and engagement

Connected devices (Internet of Things) that enable geographical technologies

Destination Local Demonstrators has opened for expressions of interest following an 18 month Technology Strategy Board and Nesta partnershipwhich backed 22 hyperlocal media projects to gauge the role hyperlocal media plays in people’s lives. Research and evaluation of the 22 projects showed that hyperlocal media is both functional (telling people what is going on where and when) and also emotional (helping people to connect to their local community).

Kathryn Geels, Destination Local programme manager, Nesta, “People feel attached not just to their city, town or village, but also to their neighbourhood and street. A new wave of technology innovation offers a potential revolution for very local – “hyperlocal” – media that can deliver at this level and closer. Following Nesta and Technology Strategy Board’s extensive partnership in the area of hyperlocal media, we know that there are real opportunities for organisations to create compelling local information and content, and develop sustainable revenue streams.”

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “Digital technologies have the potential to connect people more closely with their local communities. Innovative businesses can use the power of these technologies to strengthen existing bonds and provide more detailed, local information and services.”

The deadline to register to take part in the competition is 11 December 2013. Registration is at www.innovateuk.org  


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