The Ordnance Survey and Land Registry have announced their GeoVation Challenge winners.

Last September, Ordnance Survey and Land Registry launched the challenge to find ways to make “housing in Britain better”. As a result, 43 ideas were submitted, and nine were selected to pitch for funding.

Ordnance Survey launched the challenge with the Land Registry to find ways to improve housing in the UK. Image credit: Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey launched the challenge with the Land Registry to find ways to improve housing in the UK. Image credit: Ordnance Survey

There were three winners, including Geo-vey from Swindon-based Dave Barter and Richard Reynolds of Nautoguide. They have been awarded £29,000 to develop a free online portal – underpinned by OS and Land Registry data – that uses crowdsourcing to generate ideas for improvements to local communities. Businesses and organisations wanting to gauge local opinion on planned or suggested infrastructure developments can also use the tool for a fee.

In addition, the MyHome Energy Planner was developed by a team from Carbon Co-op, the National Energy Foundation, the OpenEnergyMonitor and URBED. The Planner has been awarded £25,000 to create an online tool that shows households their energy usage and ways of controlling and reducing future energy demand. The team will pilot the tool and work with local authorities and their existing network to raise market awareness.

And Democratising Development from Andy Reeve and Joyjit Sarjar uses OS and Land Registry data to identify small-scale sites currently disused or unmanaged, with a view to bringing these to the housing market. It has been awarded £24,000. The duo from Birmingham plan to use the WikiHouse principles of building small scale, easy to build houses on these sites, making the option of self-build more accessible.

Dave Barter of Geo-Vey said: “The Geovation process has completely reinvigorated our approach to seeding and developing ideas through to business case.

“We began with a loose idea of something that seemed worthy and feasible, but the mantra of 'problem, solution, execution' was soon firmly instilled in our brains by the GeoVation team. The funding will allow us to grow a service that will make a real difference in the community.”

Lynne Nicholson, Land Registry’s representative on the judging panel, said: “It is exciting to see people using datasets to create solutions that benefit the wider community. Ideas that help people save money, think more strategically or improve their local community are real winners in my view.

“We are proud to support these startup companies with funding and business expertise along with Ordnance Survey, helping them to turn their ideas into commercial ventures.”

A new GeoVation Challenge is being planned for a summer 2015 launch.