Elevator Pitch Session
The 2017 Smart Cities UK Conference held its first Elevator Session for Start-Ups seeking to support City Leaders via innovation. On offer was £700 prize money and the chance to speak at the Conference in 2018. D4SC were selected as the winner by the judging panel from EIT Digital for their work around Changify. Here, Founder of D4SC and a 2018 Speaker, Priya Prakesh, explains how the prize money has helped her organisation to support Cities to improve infrastructure and citizen engagement.
3 impacts of winning Smarter Cities UK pitch in helping D4SC scale-up its citizen insights driven decision-making platform Changify.
Can citizen insights aid better decision-making to improve public infrastructure in cities?
We have been asking that question at D4SC since we started out with our platform Changify to help make cities better. When we got selected as a scaleup at the last Smarter Cities UK conference in Feb 2017 by EIT Digital – We put forward our question in our pitch to the audience, judges and cities at the conference. The resounding answer was - Yes and we won the pitch. So what made the tide shift and what did we do next since then especially with the £700 we won? A lot has happened since the Smarter Cities UK conference. Brexit discussions. Grenfell fire London and Manchester attacks. Our cities and communities have shown extraordinary resilience in this testing times. But it also drives home the urgent need to listen to people, give them the tools and platforms where they can pro-actively impact everyday decisions from bottom-up by harnessing their insights when using public infrastructure in cities.
At D4SC we address these concerns head on by working together with service providers maintaining the contracts for public infrastructure. Using sensor data, people insights and real-time voting we help figure out which is the most important issue to fix , through our urban decision-making platform Changify.
Impact 1: Meeting more UK cities – Funding train fares.
In April 2017, we finished our Innovate UK Connected Cities pilot with Amey-Ferrovial and Plymouth city Council, to trial the Changify #SmartertStreets platform, with a focus on improving road-safety. £400 of £700 of the Smarter Cities UK prize money was used in travelling to other UK cities lncluding Plymouth and Birmingham. Something that struck us by working with Plymouth is for UK cities to work with each other, we need to find cheaper train fares to help reduce the barrier of being able to jump on a train to go and meet a community or stakeholder. Luckily we could channel some of our prize money to improve our presence in the field.
Business impact from our pilot
With the Changify platform integrated into Amey back-office systems during our recent 3-month pilot of the system in Plymouth, efficiencies of report data priortisation across 515 reports were realised with a breakdown of 32.5% Urgent, 62.5% Watchout and 5.45% being Good Job. Average customer overall response time increased by 19.75% and generation of new user proposals by 19.8%. In the future, scaling the pilot, cost reductions are projected at approximately 22% annually for individual highways inspections.
Impact 2: Funding posters and print materials for expos and missions £200 to meet customers and explore new urban partnerships.
We visited Madrid on Mayor’s Business program and Singapore on DIT mission to iOT Asia in March 2017. As 1/10 London urban tech scaleups in Sadqiq Khan’s Mayor’s business program we visited Madrid to meet our customer Ferovial and explore a city partnership to bring Changify to Madrid. We used £200 to fund our posters, stationery and materials for the booth we had at IOT Asia Singapore and are working with Lands Transport Authority to explore two way feedback systems on their command control centre using citizen input.
Impact 3: Prototype materials to demonstrate with potential new commerical partners in London - £100 Working with MoD Accelerator to use crowd as sensors to tackle safety and security issues in public venues like Cheslea FC Stamford Bridge
The SmarterCities UK conference was held in the fabulous Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge stadium. We are currently in the process of taking our award winning project for SmartSecurity from Shanghai and bring it to the UK to help prevent terrorist attacks in public venues. By working with fans and crowds as sensors to help identify, report and prevent terrorist attacks, we are working on submitting a proposal to the MoD Defence accelerator with our partners Aralia Systems experts in CCTV video analytics. We plan to prototype this with Stamford bridge venue owners. Smarter Cities UK team is putting us in touch with the venue owners to help us test drive our platform. Plan to use the remaning £100 to run a video simulation and demo to owners.