Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 19:10 UK

Firms urged to innovate for 2012

Science research
Ideas will be showcased in exhibitions and events next year

Businesses are being encouraged to come up with innovative ideas to fill gaps posed by the challenge of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

The scheme by London SciTech Challenges invited firms to solve "innovation gaps" the city faces in the run-up to the sporting event.

Challenges may include how to serve food on a mass scale or new prosthetic solutions for paralympians.

The best ideas will be showcased at events in Spring 2009.

Firms are invited to produce an outline of their ideas and are then linked to an academic institution to help take their ideas forward.

Challenges are divided into six broad categories which include athletic performance, media & broadcasting, engineering & construction and environmental legacy.

Henry Playfoot, who heads the scheme, said: "With London being the centre of the world's attention in just over four years time, a whole host of challenges requiring technologically advanced solutions have been created."

Partly funded by the London Development Agency, the initiative is supported by the BBC, the Institution of Civil Engineers and UK Sport among others.

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