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£1.2M TO DRIVE DIGITAL INNOVATION

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Ten national finalists who stepped up to take on the digital challenge - to create a world class example of a 'wire...
Ten national finalists who stepped up to take on the digital challenge - to create a world class example of a 'wired up community' - were announced today by DCLG minister Angela Smith at a awards ceremony in London.

From a job matching service in Norfolk to an online health monitoring service in Bristol, all the bids were asked how they could use new and evolving technology to make a real difference in their communities. They will now share£1.2 million worth of government funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Stand out examples of how to make a difference were:

* Norfolk's job matching service which enables those seeking work to register their details and when a job comes up matching their skills a text alert is instantly sent to their mobile.

* In Bristol a remote health service which could monitor patients vital signs or allow them to self diagnose to complement support from district nurses to give them greater independence and reassurance.

* Children in Ealing could benefit from a personal payment card facility which will monitor their eating habits including their nutritional intake and promote healthy eating.

Today's announcement marks the second phase of the Digital Challenge which will now see the 10 national finalists share£1.2m of government funding to strengthen and develop their proposals. The race is then on to become the Digital Challenge winner, who will receive£7m to put their proposals into action.

Ms Smith said:

'I have been really impressed with the standard of all the challengers represented here today. They have all shown how new and evolving technology can be used to meet the challenges facing our communities.'

The minister also announced the Digital Challenge network providing an opportunity for all those who entered to continue to explore ways of implementing innovative ideas.

The minister added:

'All of the 79 bids received offer a goldmine of ideas and imagination, and we need to draw on these going forward. I particularly want to encourage all those who submitted a bid to continue working on their vision and implementing the exciting ideas alongside their partners in the public and private sectors. This is why today I have announced the Digital challenge network which will bring together all sectors involved in e-innovation and ensure that excellent ideas which have been developed so far are not left to fester.'

Notes

1. For further information on the Digital Challenge and the ten national finalists please visit www.digitalchallenge.org.uk

2. The Digital Challenge sets the vision for and takes the next bold and radical steps in creating a digitally enabled society. The Digital Challenge provides a unique incentive for a region, city or similar sized area to drive forward the use of technologies to better meet the needs of its local community and individual citizens. Any local authority, in partnership with other authorities, public sector organisations, industry, intermediariesand the third sector, could take part in the Digital Challenge competition.

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