Nation's brightest minds needed for active ageing challenge

Entrepreneurs and start-ups across the UK are being given the opportunity to win a slice of a £100,000 prize fund, designed to support the development of technology that will help people to thrive in older age.

The first ever Centrica Active Ageing Challenge opens for entries today, and is looking for local start-ups with tech solutions that help meet the needs of an ageing society.

Successful applicants will be asked to pitch to a team of industry experts in March. As well as a share of the prize fund, winners could also receive the opportunity to access valuable networking and mentorship opportunities that can help start-ups to grow.

Technology to transform the lives of the over 65s would have a huge impact on people across the country. Recent statistics from the Office of National Statistics revealed that nearly a fifth of people in the UK are over 65.

Sam Salisbury, Director at Centrica Innovations, said: “Smart technology has the ability to solve one of society’s biggest challenges – staying active and independent as we age.

“Centrica brands have already developed home technology that’s made people’s lives more comfortable and convenient, and now we want to build on this and explore how smart tech can positively impact older people.  

“Research we conducted recently found that many over 60s believe smart technology can improve their lives, but, despite this, they are often overlooked by companies that produce and market this tech.

“That’s why we’ve launched our Active Ageing Challenge. We’re calling on the UK’s thriving start-up community to put themselves forward – and we’re hoping more than 50 of the region’s brightest minds will apply.

“I can’t wait to meet the minds behind the next big ideas in active ageing tech!”

Centrica is committed to providing support to people and technology that can change the world, and over the next five years has committed to investing £100 million in start-ups, incubation and accelerator programmes.

Local innovators have until 5 February to submit their applications. If successful, they will be asked to pitch their idea to the team of industry experts in March.

For more information on the Active Ageing Challenge, or to apply, visit:


Centrica Innovations was created to identify, incubate and accelerate new technologies and innovations for business and residential customers.

Over the past four years, Centrica Innovations has supported over 25 enterprises and committed £9m of investment to 14 start-ups. This includes supporting companies passionate about building a more energy efficient future.

Centrica Innovations invests in new technologies and business models which will help create future value and opportunities.  Centrica have committed to invest £100million over the next five years in incubation and acceleration programmes – as well as venturing in start-ups. As a pioneer in the connected home market, they continue to build a strong IoT capability and business models. This includes leveraging capabilities in the connected home market. Data science, smart grids and smart metering will enable Centrica to become closer to customers in an enhanced partner role.

About the research

On behalf of Centrica, Ipsos MORI interviewed 693 adults aged 60+ in Great Britain using CAPIbus, Ipsos MORI’s computer aided face to face in-home omnibus survey. Interviewing took place between 8th-14th September 2017. Data is weighted by age, gender, region, working status, social grade, tenure and ethnicity to the known population profile of adults aged 60+ in GB.

33% of people aged 60+ who are aware of smart home connected technology either own or are interested in buying such a device.