Smart Data Discovery Challenge winners

Four innovative winners of the Smart Data Discovery Challenge were named at a pitching event on Thursday (21st March) evening.

Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake MP, awarded the teams a share of £20,000 for their ideas on how to use Smart Data to make a difference for people and small businesses.

It paves the way for the launch of a new Smart Data Prize later this summer. Participants will have the opportunity to prototype their Smart Data ideas in a digital sandbox, with the support of grant funding. The strongest entrants will be eligible for a share of up to £750,000.

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business said: “Smart Data has the potential to play a major role for consumers and businesses. We’ve seen it used in Open Banking, and hope other sectors like energy, SME finance and home buying can take advantage of this innovation to help improve their service for their customers. I congratulate today’s winners and look forward to seeing their ideas develop to the next level.”

The four Smart Data Discovery Challenge winners are:

Mealia – Personalised grocery optimisation for health, savings, and sustainability – Integrating supermarket data to recommend healthier food alternatives, cost savings, budget-friendly shopping strategies, meals based on purchase data, and more sustainable food choices.

Rodeo – Smart earnings data for gig workers – Lightning Riders, the team behind the Rodeo app used by more than 15,000 drivers, proposes a Smart Earnings Data scheme to enable gig workers to access and control their earnings data. Millions of gig workers in the UK are paid by dynamic algorithms on platforms like Uber, Deliveroo, Just Eat and Amazon. As ‘independent contractors’ they need to manage their finances and taxes and make informed decisions about who to work for and which jobs to accept. Smart earnings data would unlock new financial tools for drivers and enable gig workers to exercise their market power, improve their financial security and facilitate greater tax compliance.

Smarter Contracts – Digital financial health check and monitor – An online financial assistant providing consumers with personalised money-saving comparison offers for a wide variety of cross-sector services. Consumers could consent to always-on monitoring of their current products and services in relation to market changes, to check that they are always on the most appropriate product and terms, alerting them to potential savings when available. The entrants believe it could enable millions of UK consumers to save hundreds of pounds annually. – personalised home finance products powered by a predictive ‘HomeHealth Score’ – designed in collaboration with a Tier-1 UK bank, the HomeHealth score combines Open Banking data and Smart Energy data with the aim of humanising consumer choice in home finance, energy consumption and CO2 emissions reduction. Smartlayer aims to open up personalised, wallet-sensitive, smart home finance options to the many households currently excluded from green finance.

In October, the Department for Business & Trade, Challenge Works, the Open Data Institute and Smart Data Foundry called on individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, academia, and civil society to share ideas for ambitious and feasible solutions that could harness Smart Data across different sectors of the economy in the future.

Smart Data enables people and small businesses to access and share their data simply and securely with authorised third parties, enabling those third parties to provide them with innovative services. Open banking is an example of smart data in action, underpinning the UK’s fintech success story.

The Smart Data Discovery Challenge encouraged cross-sector use case ideas across the financial services, energy, retail, transport, and home buying sectors. It is part of a wider programme of Smart Data-enabling work by government which includes legislation giving greater powers to implement schemes, recent consultations (for example on Open Fuel), and future policy development (e.g. in Energy and Transport) planned for the coming year.

Chris Gorst, Challenges Director, Challenge Works – a Nesta enterprise, said: “Smart data is a new frontier for how individuals and small businesses take control of their data. The Smart Data Discovery Challenge has laid the groundwork for a larger prize later this year. We want the new prize to build on the success of our Open Up Challenges – they catapulted a new generation of open banking fintechs to enormous success. We want to do the same for even more companies using a far wider array of Smart Data to support innovations that benefit people in their everyday lives and make running a business easier and cheaper.”

Louise Burke, CEO, the ODI said: “Smart Data represents a great opportunity to benefit consumers and has the potential to be a major driver of innovation. The first Smart Data scheme, Open Banking, has already created a healthy ecosystem of valuable services and providers. With the Smart Data Challenge, we are laying the foundation for the next level of responsible data innovation, expanding the benefits of Open Banking into energy, transport and beyond.”