£10,000 Longitude Explorer Prize

The Internet of Things has the potential to make us happier, healthier and more connected, transforming the way we live. We challenge young people to develop innovative, practical solutions that use the Internet of Things to improve health and well-being of people in the UK.

Areas of particular interest include childhood obesity, physical activity, mental health and pollution, but ideas can relate to any other health issues.

Entries open
9 January 2017
Deadline for entries
3 March 2017
Induction Event
28 April 2017
Announcement Event
13 July 2017


Scroll down for more information about the Prize

The Issue

The Internet of Things is a concept where internet-connected devices generate data with limited human input, using sensors and other electronics.

The IoT application can be seen in various sectors and industries, including healthcare. Data collected from health monitors can be easily analysed by doctors to determine appropriate treatments. Patients can track their health information using wearables and smartphones.

The IoT healthcare solutions are aligned with trends in global public health strategies to support prevention, patient empowerment and improving efficiency of existing systems. Nowadays many conditions, such as obesity or mental issues can be better managed through internet-connected devices. For instance, pills dispensers with appropriate sensors can track medication intake and feed directly to a GP.


The Longitude Explorer Prize 2017 is looking how the IoT can be implemented in healhcare in innovative ways.

We challenged young people to come up with ideas that use the Internet of Things to improve health and well-being of people in the UK.

The ideas could relate to the following themes, although other health-related solutions were also considered:


 Childhood Obesity

 Physical Activity


 Mental Health

 Participant Journey

 Stage 1: Submit your idea

The Longitude Explorer Prize is now closed for applications.

Students were invited to submit their ideas for innovative and practical solutions that use the Internet of Things to improve health and well-being of people in the UK.

Areas of particular interest included childhood obesity, physical activity, mental health and pollution, but ideas can relate to any other health issues.

Deadline for submission was 15:00, 3rd March 2017.

All entries were assessed against the judging criteria and all entrants received feedback.

 Stage 2: Finalists

10 teams from around the UK have been shortlisted to the finalist stage of the Prize! Meet the finalists here.

All finalists will be asked to attend an Induction Event in London on 28 April 2017. Travel and subsistence costs will be covered.

Finalists will be provided a range of support to develop prototypes of their ideas and Workbooks.  The deadline for submission of Workbooks is 28 June 2017.

After this deadline, all Workbooks will be assessed against the criteria. The finalists will be invited to the Awards Ceremony (13 July 2017) in London to pitch their ideas and showcase their prototypes to the judging panel.

Stage 3: Winner announcement

Announcement of the winner will be made at the Awards Event after all finalists present their ideas to the judges. The winning school will receive £10,000 to support STEM programmes. There will be two runner up prizes of £1,000 each and exciting individual prizes for students!

Why take part?

Longitude Explorer Prize is a great opportunity for students to learn additional STEM skills, including coding, as well as, soft abilities such as problem solving, presentation or entrepreneurship skills. The Prize is also a brilliant way for young people to better understand the concept of the Internet of Things which is likely to become an integral part of their future lives.

The pilot of the Longitude Explorer Prize, launched in 2014, was successful as 90% of students reported improvement of STEM skills through their participation in the Prize and that they are willing to continue development after the Prize. Click here to see the last year’s winners and here for the Prize publication.

We advise teams to look at judging criteria, FAQ and the Internet of Things brief before answering entry form questions.

To help teams come up with ideas, we’ve created themes briefs with some good examples of how the IoT can be used in healthcare. They should inspire students to think what ideas the Longitude Explorer Prize is looking for!

To help teachers and students, we produced useful resources that can be used in lessons and/or after-school classes:

  • Prize leaflet
  • Introductory presentation
  • The Internet of Things brief
  • Teacher’s notes
  • Thinking toolkit

See all resources here.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Prize is open to all types of secondary schools
  • Schools must be based in the United Kingdom
  • Ideas must be submitted by a teacher on behalf of the team (this is to ensure there is adult support for the entry, although the work must be that of the young people)
  • Each team submitting an entry must have 2 – 5 team members
  • Team members must be aged 11 – 16 years old (at time of entry)
  • Teams can submit more than one entry


Judging Criteria

  • Innovation (New ideas or adaptations and/or new interpretations of a solution)
  • Theme (Articulation of problem and how the idea is addressing the issue)
  • Use of data (What data was intended to/was used, why and how, how the data will be collected)
  • Turning the idea into reality (Clear planning process, research and experimentation to progress the solution from idea to reality)
  • Application to the real world (How will it be made; costs for production/ prototyping; who would use it; market potential; usability, design)
  • Teamwork (Assigning roles; recognition and progression of skills)
  • Communication (Marketing and promotion)

Who’s behind the Prize?


IBM is a globally integrated enterprise bringing innovative solutions to a diverse client base to help solve some of their toughest business challenges. IBM developed Watson, world’s first cognitive computing, that has a great potential to transform the way we live.



The Challenge Prize Centre was established to increase practical evidence and understanding about challenge prizes so they can be used effectively by governments, charities and businesses to have a tangible positive impact on society.

Last year we run pilot Longitude Explorer Prize which was looking for innovative ideas how satellite data can be used for social good. See more information, including ideas that won, click here.


Get in touch!

See the Challenge Prize Terms and Conditions and FAQs.

For further updates, contact us at explorer@nesta.org.uk or follow us on Twitter and join the conversation using the hashtag #LongitudeExplorer.

Prize blog