Using new technology to monitor house building apply for funding

Builder checking the outside of a new building

Local authorities in the UK are looking at ways to use new technologies to help their urban planners make better informed decisions.

However, councils often do not have clear information about how new developments in their area are progressing.
Up to £1.25 million is available through a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to investigate how technology could be used to monitor development in the Waltham Forest Council area of East London.

Funding for the competition is through the GovTech Catalyst, which helps public sector bodies to take advantage of new technology.

A timeline of development

The competition aims to investigate how technology could be used to monitor developments of all types, from permission to completion and occupation.

The council is seeking a system that builds an accurate timeline of development that will help its planners to make better informed decisions.

Applicants should:

  • blend existing Waltham Forest Council records, such as council tax records, with other data sets such as postal addresses
  • explore how new technologies, from satellite imaging to collaborative maintenance of data, can be applied to collection and analysis of data
  • investigate how a system might assess uncertainty in data sources and increase the accuracy of statistics and of forecast completion dates

A 2-phase competition

The competition has 2 phases. In phase 1, applicants will carry out feasibility studies on their proposed solution. Up to £250,000 including VAT is available in phase 1, and as many as 5 projects are expected to be funded.

Contracts worth up to £500,000 each could be awarded to the 2 most promising projects to develop and test a prototype in phase 2.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 15 July 2019, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 21 August 2019
  • organisations of any size may apply
  • up to £250,000 is available in phase 1
  • a briefing event will be held at [TechUK in London on 15 July 2019] ( where organisations can find out more about the competition and applying

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