A technology to convert the sunlight hitting buildings into energy and a strategy to fill space in empty lorries to reduce emissions are the first two winners of Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity Challenge.

Polysolar and Voyage Control won the Sustainable Buildings and Integrated Transport strands following a 12 week accelerator programme.

The winners, announced at Level39, each receive a £50,000 prize and the opportunity to pilot their ground-breaking technology on the Canary Wharf estate.

CWG chairman and chief executive Sir George Iacobescu said: “We want Canary Wharf to remain one of the most sustainable, convenient and technologically advanced cityscapes in the world, and the Cognicity Challenge is helping us improve even further our approach to property development.”

Polysolar has developed transparent, thin-film solar photovoltaic glass panels which can be fitted, or retrofitted, into a building to generate clean energy. The Cambridge-based firm has already completed projects for the Barbican and the Future Business Centre.

Voyage Control aims to optimise the freight industry through advanced logistics management. Its system also matches customers with empty trucks to utilise spare capacity, reducing costs and emissions in the process. More than 13,000 businesses already use the platform, and have collectively saved over 150,000 hours of wasted journey time.

Former MP Dan Byles, founding chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities, said: “It is fantastic to see innovative companies like these breaking new ground in the fields of sustainable buildings and integrated transportation.

“If we want a sustainable planet we need sustainable cities, and Canary Wharf Group is showing real vision and leadership with programmes like the Cognicity Challenge. The Government is working closely with thought leaders like CWG and Cognicity and the UK has the opportunity to lead the world in smart city thinking.”

Head of Level39 Eric Van der Kleij said: “The calibre of all the participants and our winners, Polysolar and Voyage Control, is testament to the high level of talent among those working on innovative technologies in the smart city sector.”

Of the remaining 10 companies, 8point3 LED, Pavegen and PIE Mapping were all given highly honourable mentions, with the CWG expressing a desire to continue working with these exciting innovators.