Communities set to get hyperlocal as £2.4m fund allocated
Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board have announced the winners of their Destination Local Demonstrators competition – a new hyperlocal media programme which will invest £2.4 million in projects that provide online news or content services, enabling people to connect more easily with their local communities.
39 projects entered the call for entries when it launched in November 2013 and after a competitive judging process four winners were selected. Each was chosen for their ability to demonstrate the potential of their technology-led solutions in the hyperlocal media sector. Those winners are:
TownFizz by LocaFizz Ltd - Publishers, journalists, developers, manufacturers and academics will combine forces to develop a platform that pulls in high quality geotagged content from a range of local sources. Editors in four test locations will experiment with it while academics assess how it is used and the impact it has.
Near You Now by Near You Now Ltd – A mobile application that will allow users in North and East London to access local media stories based on their precise location. Publishers, large and small, will be able to geotag their articles so they can be discovered by users in relevant neighbourhoods.
Community Channel South West by CarelineUK – A social media based community channel for older people designed to counter a reduction in face to face interaction in social housing in the South West. The channel will host local media content such as news and events, transport information and health and wellbeing advice.
Media Mill by Hebe Media – Using open data platforms in Leeds and York, a consortium of partners, including media producers, researchers and data scientists will identify and transform data into local media content, primarily for mobile.
Jon Kingsbury, director of creative economy programmes, Nesta, comments: “This new wave of digital innovation and the way that technology and content are converging offers a potential revolution for very local - “hyperlocal” – media. We know that there are real opportunities for organisations to collaborate and create compelling local information and content, and develop services that are viable for businesses and beneficial to local people. We’re looking forward to working with the four projects to help them demonstrate their potential and share their learnings”.
Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the Technology Strategy Board, adds: “We’re tremendously excited by the potential of this diverse range of hyperlocal demonstrator projects. The fact that hyperlocal will form an increasingly important part of the media landscape is clear. What is less clear is exactly what form that will take. The projects we’ve funded have the potential to demonstrate the most commercially viable hyperlocal media approaches, encouraging further investment and innovation in this area.”
As part of the programme, Nesta will undertake research with the four projects for at least 18 months to continue its investigation into the growing hyperlocal media sector, particularly the commercial and social opportunities for new hyperlocal media services in the UK.
This is the latest phase in the Destination Local programme, which Nesta has been running for two years. It follows in the footsteps of an initial partnership between the Technology Strategy Board and Nesta, in which they worked with 22 projects to understand the hyperlocal media landscape and the issues and opportunities that different services face. Nesta successes from the first phase include Kentishtowner, The City Talking and MyWelshpool, which form part of extensive research in this space.
Notes to editor
For more information visit www.nesta.org.uk or contact: Laura Scarrott, Press Office, Nesta, 0207 438 2697
Nesta (www.nesta.org.uk) is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales with a company number 7706036 and charity number 1144091. Registered as a charity in Scotland number SC042833. Registered office: 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org
For more information visit www.innovateuk.org or contact: Rod Alexander, Media Relations, Technology Strategy Board: 07500 051 101