GovTech Catalyst Challenge

Planning and building control

The GovTech Catalyst Challenge helps public sector bodies take advantage of new and emerging technology to address complex problems.

Following a successful bid to the fund, our challenge, “How might we accelerate the building of new housing using better geospatial information” was selected as one of the challenges for funding in the third round, and awarded up to £1.25 million to develop and pilot solutions.

In Phase 1, five potential projects will be selected to receive funding up to £50,000 each to cover research and development costs. The best of these could be awarded funding up to £500,000 in Phase 2 to turn these potential solutions into viable products or services.

The Challenge Process

Our Challenge

How might we accelerate the building of new housing using better geospatial information?

Waltham Forest is investigating how technology can be used to monitor developments of all sizes and types, building an accurate picture of development status from permission to completion and occupation.

The outcome should be solutions which create an accurate timeline of development. The developed tool will be tested to ensure it enables planners to make more informed decisions.
We are particularly encouraging applications that:

  • demonstrate how Waltham Forest can blend existing council owned datasets, such as Council Tax records, with other datasets such as postal address files to build an accurate timeline of development;
  • explore how to apply new technologies to the collection and analysis of data for monitoring, from satellite imaging to crowdsourcing and collaborative maintenance of data;
  • investigate how a system might assess the uncertainty present in various data sources and learn from interactions to increase the accuracy of key statistics and forecast estimated dates of completion;
  • will be tested and proven to work with planners.

Small business research initiative (SBRI) Competition

The competition closed in August 2019, and has suppliers have now been selected to work on prototypes in phase 1.

We held a briefing event at TechUK on the 15 July 2019 to launch the challenge and inform potential suppliers.

Successful suppliers chosen for GovTech Catalyst Challenge

Five successful suppliers chosen for GovTech Catalyst Challenge: Accelerating the building of housing using geospatial intelligence

Earlier this year, Waltham Forest was successful in securing up to £1.25 million funding to work with companies to investigate how technology can be used to monitor developments of all sizes and types, building an accurate picture of development status from permission to completion and occupation.

The award was granted through the GovTech Catalyst Challenge Fund to develop a tool to help planners make more informed decisions and improve monitoring processes. The outcome should be solutions which create an accurate timeline of development.

The Challenge was launched in July 2019 and we were delighted to receive 30 applications from tech companies, proposing a wide range of solutions to meet the challenge using new and emerging technology.
After careful consideration, five companies have been selected to work with us over the next few months.
The lead bidders who have been successful and have been awarded a contract are:

  • BoCreate
  • Connected Places Catapult
  • Stevenson Astrosat
  • Skyscape Technologies
  • Juice Immersive

Work will begin in December to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution with Phase 1 running to until early March 2020.

More information

If you have any questions, please contact: