Smart County is a ground-breaking project using open innovation to open up longstanding societal challenges to the private sector. Smart County aims to:
This particular round of Smart County is bringing businesses, academia, government and communities to put the region at the forefront of innovation in tackling the healthcare causes and consequences of social isolation, supporting companies as they come up with innovative products and services which will make a difference to people’s lives.
Market testing was undertaken last year to consult with the market place, asking for solutions to the County’s problems, rather than buying a solution based on pre-existing knowledge.
Contracts will be awarded to companies to de-risk the development of a new solution and Business Durham and its partners will work closely with companies throughout the process once the contract is awarded. Quality projects which are not successful will be linked in in a structured way to existing innovation support to help develop their idea and also to potential customers.
Evaluation is currently in progress and contracts will be awarded in April.