London, 2 November 2015 – IC tomorrow, an Innovate UK digital innovation programme, has today announced a £210,000 data innovation contest. It calls for entrepreneurs to explore new solutions to challenges across the themes of education, finance, advertising, sustainability and travel.

  • IC tomorrow’s Intelligent Data Insights contest offers £210,000 funding and partnerships with industry leaders such as IBM Watson, Barclays and London City Airport.
  • Contest seeks innovative ideas that harness artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and sensor-led technologies to address real-world challenges.
  • Winners will also gain access to IBM Watson’s pioneering AI technology.

IBM has revealed that more than 90 per cent of the world's data has been created in just the past two years and the rate at which it is produced now doubles every two years. The contest seeks interesting, creative means of interpreting this data so that it can be utilised by commercial organisations.

As well as each receiving up to £35,000 in funding, the six winners will collaborate with industry partners to accelerate the development of their technologies. Partners for the contest include IBM Watson, Barclays, London City Airport, Carnival Corporation, Office of National Statistics and MNP with Bathstore.

The winning entrepreneurs will retain 100 per cent of their IP and will receive mentoring and promotion to help bring their solutions to market.

IBM Watson is also offering its AI capabilities to the winners of all six challenges.

The six categories and their respective partners are:

  • Cognitive learning systems with IBM Watson – Seeking cognitive computing applications to help with the delivery of teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Marine travel problem detection with Carnival Corporation – Using sensors on cruise ships to improve marine location data, incident response and recovery.
  • Connected airport with London City Airport – Seeking sensor-led technologies, data analysis or artificial intelligence techniques to improve airport operations.
  • Sustainable development insights with Office of National Statistics – Obtaining new value from data to help protect biodiversity, build sustainable infastruture and end poverty.
  • Automotive asset management with Barclays Bank – Harnessing machine learning, modelling and predictive analysis to improve asset management for investors and individuals.
  • Enhanced paid search with NMP and Bathstore – Using data analysis and AI to improve the assessment of above-the-line advertising and online search.


Matt Sansam, Lead Technologist, Digital Economy and Programme Manager for IC tomorrow, said:

“As the amount of data we create continues to rise, it is vital that we think about ways to maximise this information to its full potential. Exciting digital technologies like artificial intelligence and connected sensors have the power to improve many real-world products, services and experiences.


“This contest seeks out entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to tap into the wealth of data that is now available to them, from business and personal devices to connected objects.”

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 15 December 2015. Shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges. The launch of trials for successful applicants is scheduled to take place in autumn 2016.

There will be a briefing event in London on Tuesday 3 November. Full information on the contest is available at