Peterborough Innovation Week success
Peterborough DNA ran its first Innovation Week from Saturday 8th–Saturday 15th November with a number of events for local people, schools and businesses to get involved in to encourage creative thinking and to help get good ideas off the ground.
The week kicked off with the Children’s University on Saturday 8th November, where 50 children from across the city learned how to become Environment Super Heroes and encourage sustainability within the city.
Breakthrough Thinking Workshop
Wednesday 12th November saw the final installment of the Breakthrough Thinking workshops, facilitated by Dr. David Hall, founder of Peterborough Ideas Centre. Thirty businesses, communities, schools, public sector representatives and not-for-profit organisations came together to think differently about local challenges. The workshops were held as part of DNA’s Brainwave Innovations project, which matches innovative solutions to city challenges. If you have an innovative business idea to improve the city, find out about Brainwave’s funding opportunities at Brainwave Innovations.
On Thursday 13th November, an audience of over 50 local businesses and city leaders heard from six teams of students from local schools as they pitched their business ideas on how to encourage sustainable travel within Peterborough. The winning team, Green Days, received £250 to help launch their concept. Jessica Dixon-Walker, a member of Green Days from Hampton College said: “Our idea is an iPhone app called Sustain A Step, which lets people earn points for travelling in sustainable ways such as walking and cycling. When someone earns enough points they can exchange them for retail vouchers. We really enjoyed the Smart Supper event and we can’t wait to start designing our new app”. University Centre Peterborough (UCP) will now be working alongside the students to bring their business idea to life. Other ideas put forward including a ‘walking bus’ and a sustainable bike rack. Travelchoice in Peterborough were so impressed by the students they donated £100 to every team to help launch their business concept.
Open City Hackathon
Innovation Week concluded with Peterborough’s first 24-hour hackathon which started on Friday 14th November, where developers, designers, photographers and user experience professionals collaborated to create content for the interactive screen that will be installed on Long Causeway in the City Centre next year. The event was run in partnership with BGL Group’s comparethemarket and Peterborough DNA’s Open City project. Members of the public were welcomed into the cathedral’s Becket Chapel, and a number of city leaders such as Cllr Marco Cereste, Cllr Chris Harper and Cllr Nigel North popped in to see the team in action.
DNA Programme Director and Acting Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough, Steve Bowyer said, “Peterborough DNA is all about shaping a smarter, more sustainable city, and campaigns like Innovation Week prove that many of the answers lie with our local communities and businesses. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who got involved with Innovation Week and helped support the events. We look forward to more projects like this that harness local people’s creativity and help make Peterborough a better place for everyone to live and work.”