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Government-led coalition calls on firms to improve home buying with smart data

  • 26/10/2023
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Government-led coalition calls on firms to improve home buying with smart data
The government, data firms and a social enterprise have teamed up to ask firms to submit ideas to innovate the home buying process with smart data.

The coalition behind the Smart Data Discovery Challenge comprises the Department for Business and Trade, Challenge Works, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Smart Data Foundry. They are calling on individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, academia and civil society to share ideas which can help people, small businesses and the wider society. 

Smart data – sometimes known as digital footprints data – is real-time digital information which can be shared with third parties which can be used to create services. 

An example of this is Open Banking. 

The coalition encourages ideas from energy firms, retailers, transport companies and financial services. It is also open to contributions from other sectors such as telecoms. 


Creating solutions 

Kevin Hollinrake, minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, said: “Smart data has the potential to help create solutions to real life issues that consumers face on a daily basis as well as supporting small firms across the country and helping to grow the economy.   

“Smart data is already helping consumers via Open Banking and I am excited to see what other game changing technology this challenge launching today will produce from our nations’ innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly in the energy, SME finance and home buying sectors.”   

The open call for ideas runs from 26 October to 8 December and participants must demonstrate the potential benefits of smart data for consumers, small businesses and the wider society. Challenge Works and the ODI will be running webinars to provide guidance and support submissions. 

A longlist of ideas will be selected and then a smaller cohort will be supported to refine the solutions and go through mentorship. 

Ideas will be pitched at a hybrid event in March next year which is being hosted by the Smart Data Discovery Challenge. 

The ideas which make it through this stage will be rewarded with cash prizes. 

Participants will inform government thinking about smart data in the UK and potentially shape the prize for the challenge next year. 

Chris Gorst, challenges director at Challenge Works – a Nesta enterprise, said: “A Smart Data economy could unlock transformative innovations just as open banking did for fintech. It is a new frontier and would represent a massive change to how individuals and small businesses take control of their data. We want innovative thinkers from across industry and society to recommend new smart data solutions that could make a difference for consumers and SMEs, to identify where obstacles need dismantling and where risks need mitigating.”   

Louise Burke, CEO of the ODI said: “Innovators that take part in the Smart Data Discovery Challenge will join a community of cutting-edge and creative thinkers to help us to shape the direction of a potential Smart Data Prize in 2024. We want creative people from across industry, academia and civil society to join the conversation about opening up services using Smart Data to make people’s lives better, and enrich our national data infrastructure.” 

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