UK’s Smart Data Challenge winners revealed

Ellie Duncan
22 Mar 2024

The four winners of the UK’s ‘Smart Data Discovery Challenge’ have been revealed, with each of the teams awarded a share of £20,000 for their ideas on how to use Smart Data to make a difference for consumers, small businesses and society., Rodeo, Mealia and Smarter Contracts were announced as the winners at a pitching event yesterday (21 March) evening.

The Challenge, which was launched in October last year by the Department for Business and Trade, Challenge Works, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Smart Data Foundry, asked individuals, innovators, entrepreneurs, academia and civil society for their ideas for cross-sector use of Smart Data.

“Smart Data has the potential to play a major role for consumers and businesses,” said Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, who awarded the winning teams their prize money.

“We’ve seen it used in Open Banking, and hope other sectors like energy, SME finance and homebuying can take advantage of this innovation to help improve their service for their customers.”

He added: “I congratulate today’s winners and look forward to seeing their ideas develop to the next level.”

The team behind the Rodeo app won for its ‘Smart Earnings Data’ scheme that will enable gig workers to access and control their earnings data, thereby improving their financial security.

Smarter Contracts pitched an online financial assistant that provides consumers with personalised money-saving comparison offers for a wide variety of cross-sector services, which has the potential to save UK consumers hundreds of pounds each year.

The idea behind Mealia is the integration of supermarket data to recommend healthier food alternatives, cost savings, and more sustainable food choices, while pitched its ‘HomeHealth score’, combining Open Banking data and Smart Energy data to personalise home finance products.

Louise Burke, chief executive officer of the Open Data Institute, added: “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.”

A new Smart Data Challenge Prize will launch this Summer, giving participants the opportunity to prototype their Smart Data ideas in a digital sandbox, with the support of grant funding. The best ideas will receive a share of a £750,000 prize fund.