Longitude Explorer: The Internet of Things for good health

09 Jan 2017

Written by Zofia Jackiewicz

When we launched the public vote to decide the focus of the Longitude Prize, many schools across the UK participated and held their own votes, since people under 18 couldn’t cast official votes. Young people’s interest in the Prize sparked the idea of a challenge prize for them. The topic of the original Longitude Prize – location – seemed like a good place to start. The first Longitude Explorer Prize challenged young people to use satellite location data for social benefit.

By 2020 there will be over 50 billion connected devices generating continuous data. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to make us happier, healthier and more connected, transforming the way we live. This presents a great opportunity for businesses and people around the world. We need to inspire more young people to engage with technology as developers and inventors and not just as consumers.

That’s why, in partnership with IBM, the Longitude Explorer Prize is launching again and this time, it’s seeking innovative and practical solutions that use web-enabled technology to help improve health and wellbeing 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.

Teams from secondary schools around the UK are eligible to submit their ideas until Friday 3 March 2017. Around 10 finalists will be shortlisted and supported by IBM to turn their idea into reality. Winners will be announced before the end of school summer term 2017, with a first place prize of £10,000 and two runner-up prizes of £1,000.

Visit the Longitude Explorer Prize website to find out more and apply.


The first Longitude Explorer Prize, launched in 2014, focused on geolocation and attracted over 60 entries. The competition was won by an all-girl team from Rendcomb College in Gloucestershire who took home the first prize for their app, Displaced, designed to help charities to coordinate the logistics of supporting vulnerable people around the world. Meet all the winners.

The Longitude Explorer Prize is a youth-focused challenge for secondary school pupils aged 11-16, which aims to provide a practical education opportunity focused on developing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills through the mechanism of a challenge prize. The Longitude Explorer Prize builds on the tradition of more than 300 years of challenges advertised to involve the widest number of creative thinkers, in the belief that good ideas can come from anywhere.