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£2.5m hyperlocal contest heads for Leeds

OpenlyLocal map of hyperlocals OpenlyLocal map of hyperlocals

A panel of Leeds grassroots publishers has been lined up to address next week’s briefing for a competition which will see £2.5million invested in hyperlocal media technologies.

Innovation agencies Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board have launched the competition to identify and support projects that enable new concepts and forms of online news, information and content services to local communities.

At the Leeds briefing next Tuesday, Emma Bearman from The Culture Vulture, Simon Zimmerman from Hebe Media and Darren Cronian from Bee Local Media will be speaking about their experiences of working in a grass-roots organisation, and discussing challenges of the hyperlocal / community engagement space and the opportunities this competition presents.

Nesta’s project manager for the Destination Local initiative Kathryn Geels said the event was an opportunity for potential entrants to find out more.

“There will be plenty of opportunity for the audience to ask questions and be part of the panel discussion.

“We’re inviting interested parties to attend the briefing events to find out more about the competition, where the opportunities for collaboration are, and how to apply for funding.

A diverse mix of organisations are invited to apply, including technology developers, content and rights holders, geographical public bodies, local authorities, media organisations, academic organisations and social enterprises. A mix of SMEs and larger established organisations will be encouraged to form collaborative technology, content and community-focused consortia. These business-led collaborations will then submit demonstrator projects that will be “tested in the field” to provide evidence for the commercial and social potential of new hyperlocal services.

Between three and five projects across the UK will be funded by the competition ranging in size from £700,000 to £1.4 million. Interested applicants are invited to attend briefing events being held across the UK in November.

The competition is live at the Innovate website and the deadline to register to take part in the competition is 11 December 2013.

The Leeds briefing event is next Tuesday at Aspire Leeds 9:30am – 2:30pm, registration here.

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