Step Counter Challenge


Supporting the residents of Sunderland and employees within the city to live longer, healthier lives is a priority for Sunderland City Council. To this end, the council will launch a campaign for “more steps in Sunderland”. This will encourage people, through digital innovation, to walk and run more.



The Digital Catapult NETV is looking for a potential development partner to create a digital portal to help Sunderland residents easily capture and submit their steps. The collection of steps could be on a daily, weekly or event-driven basis (e.g. x amount of steps at a park run).

The portal will have (at least) the following features:

· The ability for individuals to create an account

· To capture whether they are a resident, working in Sunderland but not a resident, an employer, a student etc.

· Whether they class themselves currently as active / inactive

· Age bracket

· APIs to digital step counters (e.g. Apple Health, Garmin, Fitbit, etc)

· Steps data to be totaled across the city live (based on most recent upload)

· Data to be visualised by resident locations (e.g. wards), by date period or by single event (e.g. park run)

· Ability to link to social media to enable engagement



The proposal will be evaluated through the following criteria:

· Key Requirements (including integration and deployment) 25%

· Value for Money (including ongoing maintenance costs and hosting for 1 year) 25%

· Functionality (user-friendly, compatible existing platforms, product highlights)25%

· Timescales 25%

· Security (GDPR Compliant) Pass/Fail



Launch Open Call : 12th April 2019

Receive Applications : 29th April 2019

Pitch Day : 2nd May 2019

Award Contract : 9th May 2019

Finish Development of portal :10th June 2019

Propose challenge name/brand : 10th June 2019

Partner meeting – launch concept : 19th June 2019

Development of PR plan : w/c 17th June 2019

Commitment of rewards : w/c 17th June 2019

Target groups defined : w/c 17th June 2019

Controlled testing of platform with known groups : w/c 24th June 2019

Target groups engaged : w/c 1st July 2019

Soft launch linked to events / SAFC friendlies : July 2019

City Launch : Start of football season



There is currently a budget of up to £35,000 reserved for this project which will cover hosting and maintenance of the platform for the first 12 months. Companies who are shortlisted to pitch must give a breakdown of costs as ‘Value for Money’ will form part of the evaluation criteria.



This is an exciting opportunity for a tech company to be a part of a new campaign to be rolled out for ‘More Steps in Sunderland’. The campaign will encourage the residents of Sunderland to walk more, and live healthier lives through a gamification system. The winning solution should be able to suit different devices already owned by participants and therefore be easily integrated into their lives.

The launch will coincide with the start of the football season, and there will be a large PR opportunity around the release of this campaign and therefore for the developers of the solution. This campaign will demonstrate how much Sunderland cares about the health of its residents and wants to be known to be the first city in the UK to reach out to the residents in this way.



Business Challenge 2.0 is a model for best practice for corporate innovation – regardless of sector. By listing key considerations, we’ll make sure the process is clear, achievable and worthwhile.

Significant internal buy in (from senior management and all relevant teams)Liz St Louis (Assistant Director of Customer Services and Digital), Victoria French (Assistant Director of Culture and Events)
Roadmap for partnerships (long term intentions)Currently looking for a development partner to get to the live deployment of the web app, open to discussions about further development based on the success of this stage
Clear intellectual property (IP) positionAll intellectual property will be owned by the local authority
Agreed budget (with clarity on any assumptions made)Up to £35K for development, maintenance and hosting for 12 months
Agreed timescales (including application process, procurement, deployment)See advert for milestones, live deployment by August 2019

To submit your response to the Sunderland Steps Open Call, complete the response form HERE