Canary Wharf Group is set to pilot several new technologies as it looks ahead to its next expansion phase.  

Through a competition known as the Cognicity Challenge, the property developer has picked three smart city technologies to pilot on its estate over an eight-week period.

One Canada Square is home to the Level39 accelerator ©Flickr/Dewet
One Canada Square is home to the Level39 accelerator ©Flickr/Dewet

The companies behind the technologies - BlockDox, Puckily and 3D Rep - were narrowed down from 12 companies and will now receive up to £50,000 in funding each.

Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and CEO of Canary Wharf Group, said: “We chose to run the Cognicity Challenge to identify companies and technologies which will help ensure that Canary Wharf Group’s developments remain among some of the most advanced in the world. 

“Collaborating with 36 startups has provided the opportunity to appraise our own processes and understanding of innovation in the smart cities arena, at the same time as helping shape theirthinking and products. We are looking forward to the piloting phase and its outcomes." 

The Cognicity Challenge, run out of the Level39 startup accelerator in One Canada Sqaure, featured six streams with six companies in each stream. 

BlockDox and Puckily tied in first place in the ‘Connected Home’ stream and will share a £50,000 cash prize. They will also collaborate on their pilot. Puckily allows devices around the home to be connected and controlled remotely, while BlockDox has developed an app that enables residents to perform everyday tasks, such as organising repair work and contacting management, more quickly and easily. By combining their technologies, the two companies will aim to improve people’s ability to manage their homes through connected devices.

In the ‘Virtual Design and Construction’ stream, winner 3D Repo has an open source Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform that is said to enable better collaboration on construction projects.

Several other companies have already been announced as winners of other categories, including Polysolar, Voyage Control, SEaEnergyand Demand Logic. 

Eric Van der Kleij, head of Level39, told Techworld that executivies at the Canary Wharf Group have decided they want to partner with several other companies they have been nurturing through the Cognicity Challenge, even though they didn't win. 

"Mentors have been working with the companies for 12 weeeks now to help shape their solutions so they really are relevant," said Van der Kleij. "This is unlike any kind of procurement you would normally see. Canary Wharf is incentivised to tell them [the startups] the truth about how much the energy costs and how much waste we throw away so they can price and integrate correctly and create relevant opportunities." 

The Canary Wharf Group said it hopes to show how smart buildings, sensor networks, and digital analysis software, can create efficiencies and convenience in the development and management of cities.

Canary Wharf Group is in the midst of a huge expansion project that will see several residential skyscrapers crop up to the east of Canary Wharf in a new area known as Wood Wharf. Wood Wharf will be underpinned by smart city technologies that make life and operations more efficient for those that live and work in the East London neighbourhood.