Social enterprise Challenge Works is partnering with social innovation charity Social Tech Trust to support teams competing for the Longitude Prize on Dementia.
The £4.34m Longitude Prize on Dementia, funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK, is incentivising the development of breakthrough assistive technologies for people living with dementia, with teams developing working prototypes of new tech to help people remain independent for longer.
Twenty-four international teams are developing solutions that use AI to learn about their users and adapt to help ‘fill the gaps’ as their cognitive function is progressively reduced. The solutions could help people to live independently for longer while maintaining fulfilling lives.
Semi-finalists include AI-gamified software that promotes positive social experiences to help delay decline in brain function (from Memory Lane Games), and biodynamic lighting and sensor systems that can ease symptoms of sundowning (from Chroma Lighting).
Five finalists will be selected in summer 2024.
Social Tech Trust director Chris Blues said: “Around 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia, including 900,000 in the UK. Tech has enormous power to help with many social challenges – including dementia, which can devastate lives, causing people to lose their memory, identity and sadly, relationships. Supporting innovators with technical and data support to help refine their prototypes is the first step in using technology to ease the lives of those living with dementia.”
Ruth Neale, programme manager for the Longitude Prize at Challenge Works, commented: “We’re excited to join forces with Social Tech Trust to provide semi-finalists in the Longitude Prize on Dementia with tailored technical and data support to develop their ideas into prototypes. The team at Social Tech Trust will provide a bespoke technology support package for our international cohort to drive high-quality tech products for the next stage of the competition. This is one element in the programme of capacity-building support that is being provided to teams in the next 12 months.”