Centrica and HAX launch £200,000 start-up challenge

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

Centrica and HAX have announced a partnership to find and develop new smart solutions that benefit the growing ageing population.

The search is on for startups from across the globe who are seeking opportunities to partner with the company's smart home business, Centrica Hive, and secure investment to bring their products and services to a growing connected care market.

HAX is the leading US and China-based startup accelerator program, while British brand Centrica Hive launched its first smart service, Hive Link, in December 2018 with the aim of helping people live independently in their own homes.

Developed in partnership with UK charity Carers UK, the award-winning service is powered by an ever-learning Hive designed algorithm that continually interprets data captured by Hive smart home devices to learn a loved one's routine.

This information is shown through an intuitive, easy-to-use activity log within the Hive app, allowing caregivers to check in regularly. If the person deviates from a usual routine in the morning or at night, or leaves a front door open, the caregiver is quickly sent a notification, allowing for an immediate and appropriate response.

Hive Link also features a Sharing Circle that allows other family members and friends to share caring responsibilities and help look out for a loved one.

As the service and its functionality develops, and customers find more ways to benefit from staying connected to loved ones, the successful startups will work to create new products including smart security systems, non-invasive motion tracking technologies, sleep monitoring solutions, at-home health tracking systems and more.

"This partnership presents a world-class opportunity to build on our unique ecosystem of connected home devices and generate the next wave of smart home services to improve the quality of life for people as they age," said Claire Miles, Managing Director of Centrica Hive.

Welcoming the initiative, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: "The Centrica Hive and HAX accelerator will provide a fantastic environment for UK and US businesses to work collaboratively on next generation smart home devices to support the growing ageing population.

"The partnership highlights the UK's position as a leader in the global connected care market and the expertise British businesses can offer across the globe. Thanks to overseas partnerships like this, the UK will remain at the forefront of designing the future of smart home technology to meet the diverse needs of an ageing society."

Applications are now open to startups worldwide. Applicants are required to have a proof-of concept prototype and be ready to relocate to Shenzhen and San Francisco during the program.