Criteria and Scope of the Programme


We encourage entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to participate in this FREE TO ENTER programme.

  • The programme is open to technology developers or providers of software, hardware or services that have application, or potential application, in the areas of Transport, Air Quality Monitoring, Primary Prevention of Ill Health in Older People, Digital Buildings or other societal challenges relevant to the Cambridge region
  • The programme is only open to companies based in the UK
  • Candidate organisations should fall within the European Community definition for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), i.e. fewer than 250 employees, turnover less than €50m, and is independent
Challenge Areas

There are three challenge areas in the programme, more information about each is below.

Air Quality


Primary prevention of ill health in older people

Programme Timeline

At least 10 companies will be selected to attend an intensive one-day workshop, which will be held in April 2017 at a venue to be confirmed in Cambridge, UK, providing:

  • Networking - Experts, problem owners, customers
  • Direction - Define, develop, accelerate your proposition
  • Mentoring - Workshops and 1:1 clinics

Other support activities will include:

  • Invitation to attend the CWIC Starter events in March, focusing on LPWAN, Transport and Healthcare
  • Accelerator 1 day meetings in Cambridge to refine market propositions, dates to be determined

Competition winners will benefit from:

  • One company will win one year’s free membership of the LoRa Alliance
  • One year’s free associate membership of CW, moving to founder membership for the overall winner
  • Showcasing opportunity to Everynet’s extensive client list
  • For the winner and runners up, Arkessa offers marketing support and exposure through its business partner channels
  • Events facilitated by the programme sponsors, including ARM and other major players in the supply chain and Cambridge Network
  • Coaching on the development of their Internet of Things (IoT) product or service
  • Free training and development kits to support deployment on the LoRaWAN network
  • Publicity as part of a national programme

Air Quality

There were an estimated 47 deaths attributable to particulate air pollution in Cambridge in 2010. Air Quality is also known to impact respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions and the incidence of respiratory disease.

Air Quality is greatly impacted by traffic, and recent traffic counts recorded a 5% increase in motor vehicles entering Cambridge city along the main arterial routes in 2014; there was a further 3% increase recorded in 2015. Congestion continues to worsen. The average journey time in the peak hour was 4.87 minutes per mile in 2015/6, which is slower than the previous year (4.45 minutes per mile) against a revised target of 4 minutes per mile. Over the next 15 years, an additional 33,000 houses are planned to be built in Cambridge and the surrounding area, which will have a significant additional impact on the transport network.

Small particulates from traffic and other sources can infiltrate buildings, contributing to poorer indoor air quality. Although concentrations of pollutants are lower in level than in ambient (outdoor) air pollution, people spend most of their time indoors and therefore receive most of their exposure indoors.

Despite a number of successful policy initiatives to tackle poor air quality, growth of the City and failure of Euro Emission standards to deliver as expected have resulted in smaller improvements in pollutant levels than predicted. Modelling carried out by Cambridge City Council for the Quality Bus Partnership (2012 – 2015) indicated that a 50% reduction in NOx emissions would be required to bring nitrogen dioxide levels below the National Air Quality Objectives in Cambridge.

Policies have focussed on reducing emissions from the principal source of air pollutants (traffic) by requiring improvements in the bus and taxi fleets, through accelerated fleet renewal, age limits and minimum Euro engine standards. Some air quality improvement has been observed, but levels of air pollution in the city centre remain above the National Air Quality Objectives.

In 2013, to try to understand this underperformance of policy, the City Council made use of a grant from Defra to study actual vehicle exhaust emissions in Cambridge using remote sensing technology. The Cambridge Real Emissions study confirmed that diesel buses are the single largest source of polluting emissions in the city centre, but also that there was a very variable relationship between a vehicle’s Euro engine standard and real-world emissions.

This is likely only to get worse as the City Deal looks to shift travelling behaviours with an aim to get more travellers using buses. This, and the expected increase in population, could see a significant increase in the numbers of buses using the centre of Cambridge.

Currently the evidence for interventions within the city are based on Cambridge City Council’s five monitoring stations with “continuous monitoring” (CM) analysers that produce hourly average pollution levels. There are also 60 passive diffusion tubes throughout the city recording levels of nitrogen dioxide that produce wide coverage of measurements across the city in different types of settings. Cambridge also has resident Air Quality expertise, with Cambridge Environmental Research Council (CERC) havng developed the ADMS-Urban model for modelling air quality in large urban areas which is being used globally.


  • How to understand in real time the air quality across the city better – both indoors and outdoors
  • How to use that data to drive better health outcomes
  • How to manage the transport system better to improve air quality
  • How to understand the impacts of new schemes/developments on air quality


Currently Cambridge has a significant problem with congestion as an average of 206,000 vehicles move in and out of the city daily. Potentially placing further pressure on the transport network, there are plans to build approximately 35,000 new houses in and around Cambridge by 2031. If the current transport network remains unchanged, such additional pressure could increase congestion at peak times by 30%, which would double the time that commuters spend in traffic. This issue has been recognised as a potential barrier to the continued economic success of Cambridge. Current plans to make improvements include the provision of bus lanes and segregated cycleways on main arterial routes, workplace parking levies, expansion of residents’ parking, controlled access points, better information to travellers through a journey planner app, the exploration of a new station at Addenbrookes, and large road schemes such as the A14 upgrade and the Cambridge-Oxford expressway.

The Transport plans for the area are based on the Cambridge and South Cambridge transport strategy. The strategy looks to:

  • State the Council's aim to encourage more journeys to be made by bus, train, bike and on foot to lessen increases in traffic levels.
  • Increase capacity for traffic to travel round the outskirts of Cambridge, so that road space into and across the city can be prioritised for buses, cyclists and pedestrians
  • Create additional ‘Park and Ride’ options on the fringes of Cambridge to reduce the number of unnecessary traffic travelling through the city
  • Ensure that public transport, cycling and walking prove to be the best ways of moving around and across the area, by proving these to be quicker and more convenient than by car
  • Reduce car traffic by using a variety of techniques, which may include limiting the available road space for cars
  • Enable people to use public transport for at least some of their journey into Cambridge or surrounding towns, by creating a frequent, good-quality service across major routes
  • Develop local transport solutions with communities that link to public transport along key routes

Within Cambridge itself, plans aim to:

  • Encourage more people to walk, cycle and use public transport for journeys into, out of and within the city
  • Promote bus routes that connect key economic hubs and link to the new train station at Cambridge Science Park Railway Station
  • Persuade more people to share car journeys (car share)
  • Prioritise pedestrian, cycle and bus trips across the city and make these methods of transport more convenient than using a car
  • Maintain general traffic at current levels

More information about transport within the city can be found at -


  • How to encourage travellers to use buses, cycle or walk.
  • How to manage parking within the city better (considering on-street, pay and display, off-street, disabled and coach parking, and loading bays)
  • How to manage the transport network better
  • How to give travellers better, real-time information which allows more intelligent decision making
  • How to collect granular real-time data on the transport network to inform decision making.

Primary prevention of ill health in older people

Recent local population forecasts highlight the very significant projected increases in the population size of people aged 65 years and over, and this is at a time when public sector organisations have had to make significant reductions in their budgets. This will lead to an increase in demand for health care and adult social care, and meeting this demand will require change from existing models of provision, especially considering the complexities provided by significant cost pressures on the health and social care services.

The 2013 Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) by the National Health Service (NHS), which gives more detail on the issues of ill health in older people, considered the following themes in its analysis of the secondary and tertiary prevention of ill health:

  1. Preventing hospital admissions and developing integrated care models
  2. Case management by multi-disciplinary teams for ‘frail’ elderly people
  3. Falls prevention
  4. Mental health
  5. Reducing social isolation and loneliness
  6. Social care and support in the community
  7. Housing
  8. Supporting carers


  • How to empower older people to remain safely in their communities for longer and to reduce the contact needed by health and care professionals by addressing one or more of the areas above.