£200,000 in New Application and Business Innovation Contest - via UK Technology Strategy Board

written by: Richard Kastelein

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IC Tomorrow - Experience the Future - a £200k consumer trials scheme of innovative applications and business models for UK based digital entrepreneurs.

Digital entrepreneurs are invited to join a new £200,000 scheme aimed at helping to bring innovative UK applications to market. IC tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme, will invest in up to 20 consumer trials across creative market sectors including Music, TV/Film, Publishing and a Wildcard sector. Download PDF brief here.

Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, comments:

"IC tomorrow offers an unrivalled opportunity to trial consumer applications and business models and we're now looking for the brightest digital entrepreneurs and organisations to submit their applications. By breaking down the challenges associated with delivering content rich applications to the market, IC tomorrow hopes to ensure the UK continues to be a leader in technology innovation."

IC tomorrow, developed by the Technology Strategy Board, enables content owners and application developers – any business with a new service, new business model or new way of deploying hardware or software technology – to trial their ideas with UK consumers.

A wide range of content providers, such as Sony Music, Getty Images and Crytek, have already agreed to participate in IC tomorrow and have committed basic content to the programme. They're doing this to enable product and service developers consider how they may build new services and find innovative new ways to use and commercialise their content. Specific content provider sponsors for this trial scheme will be announced soon.

Panels of leading digital content industry figures will help the Technology Strategy Board to decide which applicants to support. Each successful entrant will receive up to £10,000 to support a six month consumer trial on the new IC tomorrow digital test bed. The scheme will be high profile and provide the entrepreneurs with the ability to work closely with leading digital players.

This procurement is likely to be of interest to organisations who already have a digital application or service and need either access to commercial grade content or a controlled trial environment in which to test new business and licensing models.

The first stage of the process will open on the 11th February 2011 and close on the 11th March 2011 with the submission of a video and simple business case. Approximately 40 applications will be chosen to go through to the final face to face panel session at the end of March.

 

The successful solutions will be provided with:

• £10,000 for the provision of consumers offers on the IC tomorrow test bed,
• priority access to leading creative content providers,
• support in resolving content delivery, licensing and metadata discovery issues.

In addition, all applicants will:

• be able to register on the IC tomorrow digital test bed and utilise the available content for consumer trials,
• gain exposure to global content providers,
• have an opportunity to promote their solution,
• retain their intellectual property.

Our partners including Balderton Capital, Beggars Group, Crytek UK, EMI, Faber & Faber, Getty Images, Lionsgate, The Orchard and Sony Music will help the Technology Strategy Board to determine the trials that will be supported. Each solution should:

• include a lead consumer-facing application on any technology platform
(e.g. web, mobile),
• be technically, commercially or creatively innovative,
• assist the resolution of a key digital industry challenge, e.g. Open new markets,
• be at full consumer trial stage in early May 2011,
• have a commercial business model.

Each applicant will have to demonstrate the above by registering and completing the simple web application form, providing a 2 minute video, and if successful a final panel presentation. In a final panel session the Technology Strategy Board, with the help of its partners will determine the trials to be supported.

This is a two stage process with the initial submission closing date being 12:00 noon on 11th March 2011. The successful candidates will have a final panel session at the D-Media event (BAFTA, London) on 30th March 2011 http://d- media2011.eventbrite.com/.

Trials are expected to start in early May 2011 and run for six months. Changes to this may be allowed if agreed between the Application Provider, Content Provider and Technology Strategy Board.

Background

IC tomorrow is a Technology Strategy Board programme that forms part of the government’s Blueprint for Technology. It provides a test bed for digital entrepreneurs with the aim of removing the barriers to innovation.

IC tomorrow offers an unrivalled opportunity to trial consumer applications and business models and we’re now looking for the brightest digital entrepreneurs to submit their digital applications or services. By breaking down the challenges associated with delivering content rich applications to the market, IC tomorrow hopes to ensure the UK continues to be a leader in technology innovation.

Good examples of innovation are needed to stimulate content providers, application developers and network providers alike.

Scope

There will be three final panel sessions specialising in a single sector and one wildcard panel. Applicants need to indicate which panel they would prefer to be assessed by. The panels are:
• Music
• Publishing
• TV and Film
• Wildcard

If your solution is applicable to more than one sector pick the most dominant or select the wildcard. The same consumer-facing solution will not be considered across multiple panels, however, business to business services, e.g. micropayments, may partner with multiple consumer-facing applications and can be part of many solutions.

Challenges

Your application should help the digital industry solve at least one of the following challenges:
• Creating innovative digital business models
• Opening new markets
• Enhancing or creating value for existing digital assets
• Encouraging new forms of digital content consumption

In addition, the wildcard applications should also include at least one of the following:
• A sector other than music, publishing and TV/film
• Collaboration between organisations
• Integration across media sectors

Procurement Process and Allocation

The Technology Strategy Board has allocated up to £200,000 to showcase innovative trials within the digital industry. A two stage process will be used.
• Stage 1 - the process opens on 11 February 2011 and closes at noon (12:00) on 11 March 2011. Prior to this deadline you must have registered for the competition, uploaded your video to YouTube and completed the simple web application form. The web form is only available once you have registered and must contain a link to your video on YouTube. We expect to choose approximately 40 applications from this stage to go into the final stage.

DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE...

• Stage 2 (final stage) - a panel session (30 March 2011) will decide which applications to procure after an additional 10 minute pitch by the applicant. We expect to choose approximately 20 applications from this stage.

Successful applicants will then have a month from this date to add their applications to IC tomorrow and Consumer trials must be live in early May 2011. The IC tomorrow team will help the successful applicants to gain access to licensed content from our key sponsors and other content providers.

What is IC tomorrow?

How it works

IC tomorrow is working with leading content providers to address the problems associated with licensing digital product.  Our approach is to create a process allowing application developers controlled access to metadata creating new commercial opportunities.

To promote new business relationships, an online community has been created within _connect*, the leading networking site for UK innovators. This is where IC tomorrow incubates relationships between content providers, application developers, idea generators and soon service providers.
Content metadata is hosted on the platform allowing developers to experiment and create various consumer offers. The consumer then accesses that offer through the content or application providers own portal. Consumers on IC tomorrow are encouraged to feedback on and rate products. This information is available to businesses along with anominized demographic and lifestyle data to provide essential market intelligence.  

What you need to do now

IC tomorrow is for UK individuals, organisations and companies only. We really want to speak to you now if you have an app ready for launch that is just looking for the right content or platform to launch with. Click here.

We also want to speak to any individuals, organisations or companies that have an app at any stage of development or have content looking for an app. Click here.

If you are just interested in joining this community and want to create digital products in the future click here: You should take the opportunity to take a look around _connect and see what other industry innovators are talking about.

If you would like to be part of the exclusive consumer base of 50,000 and enjoy the next generation of apps created by the IC tomorrow platform, then please pre-register here to get regular bulletins: Click here

What you get from IC tomorrow

  • A collaborative environment for UK innovators that enables them to create world beating digital products and services across various industry sectors.
  • An initiative supported by the _connect networking environment that incubates developers and content producers in a way that helps them collaborate successfully.
  • Access to content created by some of the best known media brands in the World providing IC tomorrow with a rich network of large and small content providers.
  • A vibrant targeted consumer base of 50,000 people available for innovators to use in trialling and experimentation of new digital products. 
  • An initiative created by the Technology Strategy Board  founded and backed by the Government.
  • _connect is a networking site for innovation in the UK created by the Technology Strategy Board

     

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