Thursday 16 April 2015 – Media Release

Polysolar and Voyage Control selected as winners in Cognicity Challenge’s first cohort

Polysolar and Voyage Control have been selected as the first two winners in Canary Wharf Group’s (CWG) Smart Cities accelerator, the Cognicity Challenge. The innovators were competing in a twelve-week accelerator programme at Canary Wharf under the ‘Sustainable Buildings’ and ‘Integrated Transportation’ streams of the competition.

Cognicity’s accelerator programme aims to fast-track promising smart city technology businesses by providing a series of intensive workshops, expert mentoring sessions by a team of Canary Wharf specialists and business mentors, and excellent networking opportunities. At the end of the programme each entrant delivers a business plan and pitches to CWG executives, with the winning projects taken forward to the pilot stage. The Challenge brings together a diverse range of companies, from Big Data firms to renewable energy providers, and encourages them to work in a collaborative environment. Invaluable support is also provided by Intel*, one of the world’s largest blue-chip companies, who is collaborating with the Cognicity Challenge to provide best practice guidance and technology to the participants.

The winners each receive a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to pilot their ground-breaking technology in one of London’s most forward-thinking districts, Canary Wharf, as part of Canary Wharf Group’s ongoing commitment to adopting the next generation of technology solutions.

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canary Wharf Group plc, said: “The Cognicity Challenge is helping to ensure we have access to some of the most important innovations in smart, sustainable cities. We want Canary Wharf to remain one of the most sustainable, convenient and technologically advanced ‘cityscapes’ in the world, and the Cognicity Challenge is helping us improve even further our unique approach to property development. With Cognicity we are very pleased to be playing a key role in moving smart cities from concept to reality.”

The companies chosen from the initial two accelerator streams were announced at today’s showcase at Level39, Europe’s largest accelerator space for fintech, retail, cyber security and smart city technologies.

The winner of the ‘Sustainable Buildings’ stream, Polysolar, has developed transparent, thin-film solar PV glass panels which can be integrated into a building’s external structure to generate clean energy. Their solution can be easily retrofitted into existing buildings, as well as being integrated into new-builds. The Cambridge-based firm has already completed projects for the Barbican and the Future Business Centre.

The winner of the ‘Integrated Transportation’ stream, Voyage Control, is a company that aims to optimise the freight industry through advanced logistics management, tracking and data-gathering. Their system also matches customers with empty trucks to utilise spare capacity, reducing costs and emissions in the process. More than 13,000 businesses already use the platform, and have collectively saved over 150,000 hours of wasted journey time.

Both companies will now work with key Canary Wharf specialists to deploy their pilot within Canary Wharf.

Keynote speaker and former MP Dan Byles, founding Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities, and until recently a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, commented: “It is fantastic to see innovative companies like these breaking new ground in the fields of sustainable buildings and integrated transportation. If we want a sustainable planet we need sustainable cities, and Canary Wharf Group are showing real vision and leadership in this space with programmes like the Cognicity Challenge. The Government is working closely with thought leaders like CWG and Cognicity to help support UK capability in this sector, and the UK has the opportunity to lead the world in smart city thinking and implementation.”

Eric Van der Kleij, Head of Level39 and Managing Director of specialist innovation practise ENTIQ, who delivered the Cognicity Challenge for Canary Wharf Group, added: “I have never seen such a close competition. The calibre of all the participants and our winners, Polysolar and Voyage Control, is testament to the high level of talent amongst those working on innovative technologies in the smart city sector. By harnessing innovation and pushing for interoperability, the Cognicity Challenge is helping to transform Canary Wharf into a truly integrated and convenient smart city that is more functional, sustainable and ultimately a better environment to live, work and do business.”

John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications, UK Green Building Council, commented: “It is wonderful to see an established company like Canary Wharf Group looking to young entrepreneurs for the next stage of development within their estate. As we move forward, issues of sustainability will become increasingly prominent and the technology sector will play an enhanced role in the design and construction of our buildings.”

Of the remaining ten companies, 8point3 LED, Pavegen and PIE Mapping were all given highly honourable mentions, with the CWG executives expressing their desire to continue engagement with these exciting innovators, in what looks to be a bright future for all the Cognicity participants.

The final 12 companies to join the Cognicity Challenge for the Connected Home and Virtual Design & Construction accelerator streams will be announced on Monday 20 April 2015, bringing the total number of Cognicity Challenge finalists to 36.


For more information please contact:

Gaia Arzilli, Cognicity
T: 07772892688

Sian Disson, FTI Consulting / Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 3727 1747


About Canary Wharf Group plc

Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. It is focused on the design, construction, leasing and management of grade A office space and high-quality retail, residential and leisure facilities in central London. Over the past two decades, Canary Wharf Group has regenerated derelict wharves into one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts, constructing over 16.4m sq ft of office space. These buildings are now occupied by over 105,000 people. The company has an exciting development pipeline of over 11m sq ft of office, residential and retail space which is one of the largest of any London based developer.

Canary Wharf Group’s tenants include some of the world’s leading business organisations from the media, legal, accounting, financial services, IT, energy and transport sectors. The Group has also developed and successfully let over 300 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants to many of Britain’s leading brands. In March 2013, the Group launched its Level39 initiative to attract fintech and smart cities start-ups to Canary Wharf. Level39 is now home to over 160 start-up companies in 80,000 sq ft across three floors at One Canada Square.

The Group’s world-class, year-round arts and events programme offers over 100 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate. Winner of the 2010 Christie’s Award for Best Corporate Art Collection and Programme at the International Art and Work Awards, Canary Wharf Group showcases over 65 pieces of permanent art throughout the Estate, designed and created by more than 50 artists and craftsmen. A regular exhibition programme in the Lobby of One Canada Square and Jubilee Park further adds to the Estate’s comprehensive cultural and creative offering.

In addition to development on the Canary Wharf Estate, the Group is involved with projects across London. The Pan Peninsula and Drapers Gardens developments have been successfully completed and the 20 Fenchurch Street (Walkie Talkie) development in the City of London was completed in late 2014 and is already nearly fully let. The Group is also in a joint venture to redevelop the Shell Centre on London’s South Bank.

About Cognicity

Cognicity is the city of the future, realised today. This pioneering project identifies and accelerates the development of smart city technologies, transforming Canary Wharf into a smarter, more aware city.

This is achieved through the Cognicity Challenge, which is divided into six streams of six companies each. Partners and sponsors provide guidance to the selected companies for 12 weeks and the winners will receive a £50,000 cash prize. The winners will also have the opportunity to pilot their solutions in the ongoing development of Canary Wharf.

The full list of streams is:

  • Cognicity Challenge: Sustainable Buildings
  • Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Transportation
  • Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Resource Management
  • Cognicity Challenge: Automated Building Management
  • Cognicity Challenge: Connected Home
  • Cognicity Challenge: Virtual Design & Construction

The Cognicity Challenge is a Canary Wharf Group initiative and is run by innovation experts ENTIQ (formerly Pivotal Innovations.)

The Sustainable Buildings finalists are:

  • 8point3 LED: a cloud based, intelligent lighting control and data collation system that enables ‘plug and play’ retrofitting of LED lighting via mains-borne signalling.
  • Jooxter: a French startup that addresses the underutilisation of spaces in large offices, dynamically reallocating spaces and improving the overall building efficiency.
  • Pavegen: a company that develops and manufactures flooring technology that converts the kinetic energy from your footsteps into renewable electricity.
  • Polysolar: a company seeking to prevent buildings overheating while also generating electricity through their glass technology
  • Quantum Waste: a vertically integrated management company whose mobile, sustainable, decentralised and aerobic composting system makes waste processing technology more efficient and local.
  • Solar Cloth: a UK innovator in the design and manufacture of lightweight and flexible solar panels, including solar power coverings for non-load bearing roofs and car parking.

The Integrated Transportation finalists are:

  • Alchera Technologies: an intelligent road transport system that draws on data from sensor networks to reduce congestion, improve flow, and increase safety for all users within a city, pedestrians and road users alike.
  • BuzzStreet:s a mobile app that improves transport flow by aggregating and analysing data sources across different transportation modes in real time.
  • KnowNow: a company that creates a platform to enhance people’s urban experience by analysing the movement of people, making transport more efficient and improving home delivery logistics.
  • MellowCabs: a South African startup that manufacturers and operates new, electric mini-cabs that provides on-demand, flexible and affordable taxi and transport services in cities.
  • Pie Mapping: creators of a smart road routing platform for freight vehicles that considers both dynamic and local restrictions.
  • Voyage Control: a company helping businesses manage, optimise and track their freight deliveries by streamlining logistics, helping with security and meeting environmental objectives.


The Cognicity Challenge has been designed and delivered by ENTIQ, an emerging leader in innovation delivery, new venture development and ecosystem creation, and the pioneer of an authentic, impactful innovation model.

Founded in 2013 by seasoned entrepreneurs Claire Cockerton and Eric Van der Kleij, ENTIQ, under our former Pivotal Innovations brand, has established a bold reputation for delivering innovation for corporate enterprises, property developers, government, academics and startup innovators. ENTIQ has successfully delivered genuine, tangible innovations for clients such as Dassault Systèmes, EY, Number 10 and Canary Wharf Group. We have also led the design and development of world-leading innovation ecosystems including Innovate Finance and Cognicity, and our founders helped lead the creation and development Level39 in its first 2 years.

About Intel

Intel designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices and the applications of the Internet of Things.

* Intel is a trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.