Innovate UK
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Helping people connect with their communities

Businesses across the country are being asked to come up with new ways of helping people connect to their communities in an initiative launched today (4 November).

The UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, is teaming up with innovation charity Nesta to offer business-led ventures up to £2.5m for research and development through its Destination Local demonstrator competition.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: 
"Digital technologies have the potential to connect people more closely with their local communities. Innovative businesses can use the power of these technologies to strengthen existing bonds and provide more detailed, local information and services."
Local media play an important role in people's lives. They tell users what is going on where and when, as well as helping them to connect with their local community. Digital technologies offer a potential revolution for very local – hyperlocal – media. Hyperlocal media provide online news or content services relevant to a town, single postcode or other small, geographically-defined community.
The competition will invest in projects across the UK. Some will be deployed in specific geographical areas, but all are intended to develop the enabling technologies, platforms and services which build up the businesses of the future and help the UK become a world-centre for hyperlocal media.
Kathryn Geels, Destination Local Programme Manager, Nesta, said:
"People feel attached not just to their city, town or village, but also to their neighbourhood and street. A new wave of technology innovation offers a potential revolution for very local – hyperlocal – media that can deliver at this level and closer. We know that there are real opportunities for organisations to create compelling local information and content, and develop sustainable revenue streams."
Research carried out by Nesta has found that 45% of all UK adults have accessed hyperlocal media.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom estimates that nine out of ten UK adults regularly consume local news or other content through television, radio, newspapers or the internet.

Further Information

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Helping people connect with their communities

View the press release, including notes to editors

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