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Calling all start-ups: IC Tomorrow launches Disney and McLaren-backed wearables competition

If CES was anything to go by, 2015 is going to be the year that wearable technology really takes off.

With this in mind, IC Tomorrow has announced a wearables-inspired competition for start-ups and small businesses with a £210,000 prize bot up for grabs.

Judges will be looking for commercial, creative and technical innovations in areas such as health and fitness trackers, identity and authentication, and pioneering use of smart textiles. Challenge categories include hospitality, entertainment, design, sport and wellbeing, health and safety, and accessibility.

As well as benefiting from up to £35,000 in funding, the six winning entrepreneurs will each have the opportunity to trial their technology with leading industry partners, while retaining their IP. Additionally, successful applicants will receive promotion, support and advice to speed up their ideas to commercialisation stage.

The six categories and their respective partners include:

Wearables for Kids – Disney

Sensor technology and tracking performance – McLaren Applied Technologies and Loughborough University

Guest centred experience through wearables – glh Hotels

Reacting to the local environment – Amey & Network Rail

Unlocking accessibility through wearables – Atos

Plug-and-play for textile wearables – Queen Mary University London

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: “Wearables will be making an increasingly big impact across UK industries in the coming year. We are looking for ambitious concepts that explore wearable technologies in new ways. The early movers identified in this contest will benefit from partnerships with established industry players, who will help bring their ideas to market."

Geoff McGrath, vice president, McLaren Applied Technologies, said: “McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) is proud to support the IC tomorrow wearable tech contest and contribute to the innovative development of this significant growth market.

"MAT has developed unique expertise in real-time data monitoring and analytics to optimise the performance of both individuals and teams, and we’ve seen first-hand how wearable technology is transforming the health and sports markets. MAT is excited to be part of a contest that will help to drive the next generation of wearable technology, which has the potential for positive societal impact.”

The deadline for submissions is 12pm on Tuesday 10 March, after which shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges.

Have a look at the contact briefing document for more information.