Sunderland company launches competition for people to create travel app

Picture: screen grab.
Picture: screen grab.

A Sunderland company have launched a competition where people can design and build a new travel app.

The competition is being delivered by the Digital Catapult Centre North East and Tess Valley on behalf of Tyne and Wear Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC).

The competition is named Data Movement and enables anyone with a passion for technology to design apps for the general public using data published by the North East Combined Authority (NECA).

Naomi Morrow, Project Manager at the Digital Catapult Centre North East and Tees Valley, said: “Data Movement is a new type of open innovation, an initiative designed, to get everyone thinking about the possibilities of data and the applications and services which can be created to serve the public.

“The process allows anyone – individuals, groups or companies – with a bright idea and a passion for technology to design something the public will want to use.

“Asking the public to vote for their favourite idea, and giving the top three designers a cash prize to help develop the app into a fully working downloadable product, means that we are truly opening the doors for everybody to engage with data and create genuinely innovative solutions.”

Ideas for apps can use one or more traffic, car park, CCTV, weather or signal data sets, which are collected and published by Tyne and Wear UTMC.

The data sets can be found on the Data Movement website.

All submitted ideas will be displayed online for the general public to vote for the one they like from January.

The top three ideas will receive £5,000 each to develop the app into a working product.

The overall winner will be the app that achieved the most downloads from the app store in April 2016, with the winner receiving an extra £,2000 cash prize.

Coun Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “In this increasingly busy and connected age, it is vital that people and businesses have access to information that helps them move around and complete their journeys with ease.

“That’s why we are committed to opening up and sharing the intelligence and data collected from across the region through the NECA Open Data Service, so that it can be used for the wider benefit of the public.

“The Data Movement competition is a fantastic opportunity for the general public to access and use this information to create a travel app that benefits the wider North East community.”

The Digital Catapult Centre North East and Tees Valley have created a panel of North East-based mobile development companies. They are able to help entrants to develop their idea into a functioning app.

The North East Combined Authority will be available throughout the competition to answer technical questions on their data sets, while the Digital Catapult Centre North East and Tees Valley will provide business support to those participants who would like to understand commercial models associated with app development.

The competition is open until Thursday December 31.

Submissions can be made via a simple form on the Data Movement website. 

The UTMC is a partnership between the region’s Local Authorities and Metro operators Nexus.

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