15th October 2014

Enabling people to live in better places


The latest GeoVation Challenge, calling for ideas to enable people in Britain to live in better places, has been running for a month now. We officially launched the challenge on Monday 15 September 2014 at The Building Centre during the London Design Festival.

Ordnance Survey, together with Land Registry,  are offering £101,000 in funding to the best ventures that address the problems of long term housing issues that we’ve identified, using  our established Problem Pow Wow methodology, in four key themes:

Affordability; Availability; Access and Infrastructure; Best use of Assets.

During the launch event speakers such as Finn Williams, Founder of Common Office and Andrew Van Doorn, Deputy Chief Executive of HACT, spoke in support of the GeoVation Housing Challenge.

Watch the video to find out more:

Finn Williams explained how he was interested in how geography, design and technology could potentially solve housing issues without building anything and this is a good opportunity to use open data to get closer to the problems.

While Andrew commented that housing is one of the fundamental things we take for granted but hopes that this challenge will enable enough creative ideas to surface and be taken forward.

John Carpenter of Ordnance Survey explained that we’ve launched this housing challenge, not because we think we have the answers but, because we hope we people will access some of the information and data that will help will help them find solutions.

As always the GeoVation process asks you to look for  solutions that address the problems identfied and develop a business model that will sustain the solution.

We are looking for great ideas which use geography, technology and good design to help people to live in better places.  All entrants to the GeoVation Housing Challenge must use Ordnance Survey open or paid for data and Land Registry licensable data in their ideas.

So, if you have an idea that could enable greater availability of and more affordable, accessible homes, enter the GeoVation Challenge online till 19 November 2014. The best of the ideas submitted during this time will be invited to a weekend GeoVation Camp from 16 – 18 January 2015 where you can work on building your idea into a prototype venture. You will also identify how to overcome problems in implementing your idea and learn to pitch your idea ‘pecha kucha’ style to the independent judging panel. Following camp successful ideas will be selected to receive a share of £101, 000 funding, subject to completing and submitting their venture plans. Winners funding amounts will be confirmed by 19 February 2015.

Our challenges are open to UK-based organisations and/or UK residents aged 18 or over and we encourage entrepreneurs, developers, geographers, community groups, and innovators to enter.