22 Apr 2009

The Mobile Phone Security Challenge

Today sees the launch of a national search for designers to develop new ways of securing mobile phones against thieves and fraudsters, as research shows that 80% of phones contain data which can be used by criminals to access bank accounts, steal identity, or sell on personal data.

The Mobile Phone Security Challenge is offering a total of £400,000 to designers and technology experts to come up with new ways of securing handsets, the data they contain, and their future use as electronic ‘wallets’ when m-commerce technology is introduced in the UK.

The Challenge is part of Design out Crime, an initiative from the Home Office Design & Technology Alliance Against Crime and the Design Council.  The Mobile Phone Security Challenge is supported by the Technology Strategy Board.

Applicants will submit a tender outlining how they will approach the challenge and identifying any relevant experience they may have. Once selected by a panel of experts, the teams will be allocated money for research and development from the £400,000 fund, and spend six months developing designs and working prototypes in one or more of three key areas:

· Making mobile phone handsets harder or less desirable to steal

· Making the data stored on mobile phones harder or less desirable to steal

· Making future m-commerce transactions secure and fraud proof

They will produce market-ready applications which may include hardware and software for handsets, new services and other innovations, which will be showcased and promoted by early 2010, with a view to their widespread and rapid take-up by the market.

A recent survey found that 80% of people carry information on their mobile phone handsets that could be used by criminals to commit fraud - and 16% keep their bank details saved on their phone, yet only 4 in 10 people currently lock their mobiles using a PIN. Such data includes website passwords, bookmarks, emails, personal security data and locations/addresses on map applications.

The deadline for applications is Friday 22nd May. Short-listed applicants will present to the expert panel on Friday 27th June, and the four finalists will be announced on Monday 29th June. The teams will develop prototypes over six months involving a process of review and advice from the expert panel. Four prototypes will be showcased in early 2010. More details of the Challenge can be found at www.designcouncil.org.uk/crime.

Sebastian Conran, chair of the Design & Technology Alliance Against Crime said: “This challenge is the result of work undertaken last year when we engaged young victims of crime, police, mobile industry experts and designers to understand current and future issues regarding mobile phone crime.  The Alliance has prioritised five areas and is working hard to deliver insights that the UK’s design and technology sector can use to deliver innovative solutions to reduce the instances of crime and antisocial behaviour.  This is one of the early results of our work – there’s more to come.”

Previous advances in technology have led to unexpected new forms of crime; email heralded the phenomenon of ‘phishing’, ATMs precipitated the new crime of ‘card catching’ and online banking gave rise to ‘key logging’, used by fraudsters to track the input of secret passwords and account numbers. However, there are also many examples of technology being applied successfully to reduce crime – for example, British Crime Survey figures show theft of vehicles has reduced by 51% since 1997 as a result of improved security being designed into the vehicle, and an evaluation of houses built to the ACPO Secured By Design (SBD) standards showed that these experience 26% less crime than non SBD houses, and residents fear of crime is lower.

The Mobile Phone Security Challenge will be steered by a group of leading specialists:

· CHAIR: Simon Waterfall, Co-founder, POKE

· Steve Babbage, Security Technologies Manager & Group Chief Cryptographer, Vodafone Group R&D

· Mark Delaney, Director, Connect Design, Nokia

· Josh Dhaliwal, Co-founder, Mobile Youth

· Richard Martin, Business Security Consultant, APACS

· Joe McGeehan, Managing Director, Toshiba Research Lab and Professor of Communications and Engineering at the University of Bristol

· Dr Walter Tuttlebee, Executive Director, Mobile VCE

So that’s not bad then, a prize fund of £400k and will be supported to get to prototype and production stage. If this is your area of expertise, then I’d say it could be worth a shot.

16 Apr 2009

Speaker and session updates for Monday’s event ‘Financing your business in a credit crunch’

Just a quick reminder for you to register for Monday evening's event at the CBI/Centrepoint. Yes, we're back at the CBI but there will be sandwiches to accompany our beers and wine courtesy of the lovely folks at DCKTN.

The evening is a slightly different format than usual so I just wanted to explain it a little bit more here.

We'll open with short presentations from DCKTN and Numeritas and we'll get pitches from Vodafone Mobile Clicks (about the competition and the 150k Euro prize fund) and Pembridge Partners LLP (about the Gateway to Investment programme).

We'll then move on to a panel session. Our line-up is looking good:
Benjamin Ellis, Redcatco is our chair for the evening and a seasoned entrepreneur himself. He's also very charming and will do his utmost to get the best out of our panellists.

And our panellists are:
Pamir Gelenbe, a partner with Newton More Venture Capital and Private Equity and co-founder of mobile marketing company, Flytxt. Pamir knows where the money is and where it’s going, and maybe even how to get it. He might just be worth listening to.
Carl Uminski, co-founder IMW. Carl's been there and done that as an entrepreneur with Overture/Yahoo/AOL and more recently with Trutap. Carl is battle-worn but is fighting the good fight again with a new start-up.
Rose Lewis, Pembridge Partners LLP knows a thing or two about mergers and acquisitions, particularly with media and digital businesses. She also knows how to get your company investment ready so will have a few top tips worth keeping an ear open for.
Chris Padfield who is Investment Manager for London Business Angels & London Seed Capital and can explain to us how London Seed Capital works and what's happening in the angel sector at the moment.

There will also be some other experts in the room from Kemp Little LLP (our lovely legal sponsors), and with a bit of luck, someone from cmypitch.com amongst others. And I know there will be some investors in the room as well as scouts for investors. As well as our usual mix of interesting mobile folks.

Following our panel sessions, we will be having surgery sessions alongside the networking and drinks. This is your chance to have a one to one chat with one of our experts without jostling to get their attention over a glass of wine. Tables and chairs will be laid out for the various surgeries in and around the reception area. Helpers will be on hand (I hope!) to take down details of who wants to chat and give you a time slot if there's a queue. And for those who weren't able to have their one to one or small group session there and then, the various doctors will be able to get hold of you afterwards to chat anyway. We will be having the following surgery sessions:

Vodafone Mobile Clicks - explaining more about the competition and how it worked last year
Pembridge Partners/Gateway to Investment - Rose can explain in more detail how the G2i programme works, what's involved and share some case histories with you to see if you're eligible to apply (I'm told the programme is *fantastic* from more than one trusted source). She can also have a chat to you about Pembridge's work on the M&A and strategic partnering front too.
London Seed Capital - Chris will be on hand to explain what LSC is all about, how it works and how you can get in on the act.
DCKTN - Eddie and Philip are on hand to discuss the various initiatives going on with them and how you can get in on the act to benefit from the options on offer.
Numeritas - Denver is available to talk through how their financial modelling works and discuss its relevance for your business if you're thinking of going for finance and investment. If finance isn't your strong suit, and it isn't mine, then Denver might just be able to help you.

There is room for one or two more surgeries if anyone would like to offer to run one. Please get in touch with Helen if you do.

I'm very much looking forward to Monday evening's event and if you haven't signed up and RSVP'd already, then please do over at http://momolo.org and do tell your friends. If you can't come to the panel session, but want to pop along later to have a surgery session, then please do sign up. This event is also suitable for digital businesses and not just mobile ones. Any problems with registration or website queries - please let Alex know.

Meffys Awards entry deadline extended to 24th April due to popular demand

Mobile Monday London is proud to be a media partner for this year’s Meffys. I’m also pleased to announce that yours truly, Helen Keegan, will be on the judging panel for the Mobile Advertising Award. Something I’m actually rather excited about.

Anyway, the key point is that the entry deadline for the awards has been extended to the 24th April so you still have another week to get your entry in. The official blurb and details are below for you all. It’s £300 per entry – unfortunately we don’t qualify as a supporting organisation as we’re a media partner only this time. Anyway, don’t let that put you off entering, it’s still worthwhile and I do know that previous MoMoLo members who have entered the awards in previous years have benefitted, so please do consider it. There are a wide range of categories to choose from and think carefully about which ones to enter. I’ve judged other things before and am frustrated when something is submitted into the wrong category and fails when had it been submitted to a more appropriate category, it would have stood a chance of winning. So think on!


MEFFYS_extended with dateMobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the global association for the mobile media industry, today announces that due to popular demand, the call for entries for the sixth international Meffys Mobile Entertainment Awards has been extended to Friday 24th April 2009. Companies wishing to enter should visit: www.m-e-f.org.  

MEF is also pleased to announce that Hardeep Singh Kohli, a leading social commentator, BBC presenter and comedian, will host the Meffys ceremony on 23 June in London. As a columnist for The Scotsman and The Guardian, and a great fan of mobile games, Hardeep is passionate about the increasingly important role that mobile entertainment is playing in our everyday lives and says, “I am delighted to be hosting this year’s Meffys awards to help celebrate the leading companies in an industry where creativity and cutting-edge technology collide”.

Entering the Meffys 2009

MEF is accepting entries for the 2009 Meffys awards until 24 April. Entry costs have been frozen from last year and are as follows: £100 per entry for MEF members, £200 for members of supporting organisations and £300 for non-members.

For more details and information on entry categories go to: http://www.m-e-f.org/index.php?id=44

Meffys 2009 Categories:

  • Games
  • Music Service
  • TV & Video Service
  • Technology Innovation
  • Content
  • Social Networking
  • Search & Discovery
  • Ad Campaign
  • Application
  • Quality of Experience
  • D2C Service
  • ‘Mobile First’ Innovation
  • Business Intelligence
  • Innovative Business Model
  • Handset

If you do decide to enter, good luck!