Construction companies will be crucial in realizing the future of connected cities. One initiative will drive smart-city innovation by supporting technology startups that will deliver innovative solutions that will help construction firms create the smart cities of tomorrow.

Announced in October, the Cognicity Challenge is a smart-city focused accelerator that is supported by the Canary Wharf Group, www.canarywharf.com, London, England, a property development, investment, and management group, and run by Pivotal Innovations, www.pivotalinnovations.com, London, England, a growth-accelerator company that also leads the Level39 technology accelerator in Canary Warf, London’s financial and retail hub.

The challenge’s goal is to identify startup companies focused on smart-city innovations and support them through the development of prototypes that can be piloted in the ongoing development of Canary Wharf. The challenge has six “streams” open to companies, including several construction-related categories such as automated-building management, sustainable buildings, and virtual design and construction.

The virtual design and construction stream will include companies developing BIM (building information modeling) 5D+ tools capable of modernizing the sector through data sharing, open protocols, and mobile usage, as well as seamlessly integrating systems through the design-build-operate construction lifecycle.

The startups in each stream will develop technologies and solutions via a 12-week program while benefiting from the guidance of Cognicity Challenge partners and sponsors. Canary Wharf Group says one startup from each accelerator will win a cash prize in addition to a pilot opportunity. The Cognicity Challenge has also recently announced it will partner with Intel Corp., www.intel.co.uk, Santa Clara, Calif., a provider of computing devices and applications for the IoT (Internet of Things).

The partnership with Intel will provide the Cognicity Challenge’s 36 finalists (six for each challenge stream) access to Intel’s technologies and expertise in IoT. By encouraging companies to develop construction technologies that will help companies deliver on connected cities, the startup accelerator is pioneering the future of construction.

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