Edinburgh's Future

EdinburghApps wants to change the city, by providing creative, customer driven solutions to city challenges. It aims to work with everyone interested in making this change happen.

Launched in 2013, it is the first event of its kind in the UK and offers winners business support and the potential opportunity to work with the Council to develop their concepts further. Participants choose from challenges set by the Council around a number of key themes.

The 2014 annual event was launched by Cllr Frank Ross on Friday the 5th September, and welcomed over 60 participants and guests to the School of Informatics Forum to hear more about themes of health and culture & sport.

EdinburghApps 2016 launches with an inception weekend on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February at the Informatics Forum in Edinburgh. The weekend will be run with service design agency Snook. A midway day follows on Saturday 27th February that will host a series of workshops to help develop ideas and skills. See events for more details.

Take a look at The City’s of Edinburgh Councils Open Data Strategy


We are delighted to announce the EdinburghApps 2016 programme, which will kick off on Saturday 6th February 2016 and is hosted at the Informatics Forum at Edinburgh University.

How EdinburghApps works

EdinburghApps is a competition which is looking for new ideas and concepts to solve city challenges. By the end of the competition you should have a well thought out and tested proposal, with an early planning approach in place about how you think your brilliant new solution could be delivered. We don’t want to see finished products at the competition because we want the winners to co-create with users and organisations, and build in feedback and learning to deliver a user-centric solution. We will help the teams throughout the competition because we want you to be ready to give a really fantastic pitch on the awards day!

If you have questions about our approach contact [email protected]

EdinburghApps will be starting with an inception weekend which will give those taking part the chance to build teams, pitch their ideas, develop their thinking and carry out initial product design. At the end of the weekend we expect teams to have a good start on developing their proposal for the competition final.

Key dates

  • Inception Weekend – Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th February 2016
  • Midway Workshop – Saturday 27th February 2016
  • Final – Sunday 13th March 2016
  • Sign up on Eventbrite now


We’re building up our open data sets and looking for city partners to contribute their data. We will shortly have an open data portal available and encourage anyone interested in using diy torsion springs, developing and working with data to be part of this.

You can contribute your own visualisations or data mashups, make data requests or send a feature for our data stories. We will be sending out data challenges and looking for solutions to city challenges. Follow us on @edinburghapps to hear more about this.

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EdinburghApps Final

Sunday the 26 October saw the final for EdinburghApps 2014. There were a number of great ideas that were presented at the event by Cllr Frank Ross and Claudette Jones – Chief Information Officer. Find out more about the winning entries below;

HEALTH – Challenge 1

How to make it possible for people who have been supported by Council services to stay safe

People who have been able to change their behavior through alcohol and drug services, or offender and domestic abuse programmes, need to be able to maintain these changes long term. People often have paper based material, such as text and images, to remind them of the learning and changes they made on the programme. However this material cannot easily be carried around or used discreetly. A tool that people can always have with them, and use instantly at times of high risk or stress, would be much more effective.

Winner: ACE : In Edinburgh there is a number of support services for those recovering from addiction. A key feature in addiction recovery is the ability to maintain your sobriety. The introduction of technology could provide a new kind of support that can be available as and when needed. The provision of the EdAReA app will help those trying to help themselves, whilst working in conjunction with Edinburgh services.


How do we encourage people to take up physical activity ?

We want to help Edinburgh’s citizens live longer, healthier lives. To do this we want to encourage everyone who thinks sport is not for them to get involved in a sporting activity or just get more outdoor exercise. How do we do this? We have wonderful sporting facilities in the city, as well as lots of parks and green spaces, cycle-ways and walking paths. How do we connect these together and promote them so that more people can enjoy them?

We are looking for innovative approaches, ideas that take a fresh look at this challenge, and introducing new ways of introducing people to sport and getting them enthusiastic about it. We’re not looking specifically for an app – we want imaginative ideas and products which offer a really fresh approach

Winner: Find a Player – Jim Law

The winning entry proposes building an ‘Edinburgh Active’ tailored smartphone app (that builds upon the existing Find a Player platform) to address the challenge of encouraging people to take up more physical activity. By directly connecting sports venues, games, and players reducing the admin involved in arranging sports, it will deliver the following benefits:

  • Increase the overall health of Edinburgh residents.
  • Allow residents to connect with each other and their local amenities.
  • Provide a new way to target and incentivise activity in currently inactive people.
  • Increase revenue for your Sports venues.
  • Reduce cancellations and drop-offs.
  • Massive health savings related to reduction in the inactivity rate.
  • Deliver a positive health message for the people of Edinburgh.
  • Encouragement and promotion of social inclusion and activity.
  • Early intervention and prevention in relation to obesity and health related issues.


We want to help our visitors have the best possible experience when they visit our museums and galleries – and we want to get them interested before they arrive. We’d love to find new ways of learning from our customers as well so we want a solution that would give us a holistic view of the customer and their visit – one that can be shared with everyone coming to see us to share real-time information and encourage more visitors to our locations

Winner: SpeechCity – Oliver Lemon

(SpeechCity is a smartphone app for Smart Tourism. It is aimed at providing an immersive experience of a city to both visitors and residents. It is an intelligent conversational tour guide. It guides people by providing directions, and tells them about places they see as they walk nearby using spoken conversation.)

The app offers the opportunity to provide tours to and inside museums, guiding visitors as they arrive, during their visit and after, gathering their feedback


We have some fantastic viewpoints in the city – Scott and Nelson Monuments and Calton Hill. When people are visiting we’d like to share more of the history, astronomy, mythical and social information about the city. This would not only expand their experience at this location but suggest many other areas of interest to visit. We’re looking for an innovative approach that will capture the imagination and provide a bird’s eye view of Edinburgh.

Winner: Bubbal – Mark Sorsa-Leslie

Using iBeacons and the Bubbal platform the proposal is to visit monuments in the city learning about them and offering the chance to make a donation to their upkeep.

‘We know that people love to wonder around the myriad of beautiful monuments and historic structures on Edinburgh. We wanted to make it easy for them to show their love with a little donation towards the upkeep using iBeacons and our Bubbal platform. When someone walks close to a monument they get a buzz in their pocket to share some history with them. If the open the bubbal, they also automatically see a donate button that will send a small sum straight back to the City to help with the monument upkeep.’

Wildcard app winner: Run2See – Kate Ho

‘Run2see is a personalised running tourist guide. The mobile application will enable visitors to Edinburgh to discover nearby sites and places of interest while walking, running or cycling. On opening the application, the user will receive audio directions (similar to GPS navigation) as well as short insightful audio commentary about the local area. This commentary is keyed to the user’s current location and so should always be timely and relevant. Personal interests can be taken into account in order to improve the user experience.

Our initial target market is the business traveller, looking for good local running routes as well as timely information about local attractions. However, as the service grows, we anticipate successful use by anyone travelling around the local area.

Run2see is a “freemium” app: our business model revolves around a free application sustained by in-app purchase of additional routes. The routes are inexpensive but can be subsidised or sponsored in order to promote local businesses.

Run2see gives the visitor a personal tour guide which knows their interests and can advertise any relevant local attractions or businesses on approach. This should provide improved footfall to all manner of tourist destinations in the province.’

See our winners gallery

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