HC and C&R are Digital Innovation Contest partners

HC and C&R are Digital Innovation Contest partners

The opportunity to trial digital prototypes with publishers HarperCollins and Constable & Robinson is on offer to start-ups and developers in the Digital Innovation Contest 2013.

The contest is run by IC Tomorrow, a Technology Strategy Board programme that stimulates innovation and economic growth in the digital sector, and it looks to explore emerging opportunities in the publishing, advertising and TV industries. MediaCom, Ogilvy & Mather, JCDecaux, FremantleMedia UK, Samsung and YouTube are partners alongside the two publishers. Successful businesses will be awarded up to £25,000 each in funding to develop innovative commercial prototypes.

Entrants are asked to submit ideas for the partnership with HarperCollins on the theme of "Beyond the E-book", to find new tools, applications or services that rethink how a book might could be consumed, or what it means to "read" something. The publisher said: "As a book publisher we're always interested in seeking out new ways of getting our content into the hands of readers, so we're very excited to be working with the cream of digital talent in honing new tools, applications and services for reaching our consumers."

For the Constable & Robinson partnership the contest is looking for ideas on "Social and Recommendation"—new, commercially focused means of sharing, discussing, gifting, receiving recommendations and creating communities around publishing content.

Rob Nichols, digital and communications director at C&R, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the Digital Innovations Contest this year. Having already been introduced to, and begun working with, some impressive and cutting-edge tech companies from IC Tomorrow's Meet the Innovators event last year, we are really excited by the challenge and the no doubt innovative solutions that entrants will propose. For a small independent publishing company such as Constable & Robinson, the opportunity to work with technology companies we wouldn't normally get exposure to is one to be seized."

Matt Samsan, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: "Television, advertising and publishing are experiencing a period of disruption, which also creates opportunity, and so we're very keen to see how the tech innovators will respond to the challenges. We're looking for start-ups and developers with strong ideas, supported by a plan of action."

He added: "Our contests are about creating real value for all the organisations involved, bringing together new ideas with industry experience. So along with funding, successful companies will have the opportunity to establish an early customer for their new technology, by running a trial with the relevant contest partners."

Further information on the contest may be had from https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/digital-innovation-contest-2013.