Ericsson is once again sponsoring the M2M Challenge, following the success of last year’s competition. The event is an opportunity for Ericsson to support players in the M2M ecosystem as well as to encourage innovation.

The M2M Challenge is the leading award in the area of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, with Ericsson and Swisscom as the main sponsors. The competition, which took place for the first time in 2012, awards new, cutting-edge M2M applications.

Developers from all around the world can file submissions in five categories: mobility, energy, security, healthcare, and consumer electronics and other applications. An international panel of experts judges the submissions in terms of innovative character, business potential and usability.

The M2M Challenge 2013/14 kicked off in Milan, Italy, on May 14. Submissions to the competition can be filed at until November 30.

The winner of the M2M Challenge 2012 was the company Limmex, which stands behind the Swiss emergency watch with the same name. The watch uses GSM/GPRS technology to call for help in case of a crisis.

M2M is gaining more and more interest from operators and other players in the ecosystem. This is in line with Ericsson’s vision of 50 billion connected devices in 2020.

Marcel Mez, Account Manager for Swisscom at Ericsson, says: “By teaming up with Swisscom as the main sponsor of the M2M Challenge we support both the operator and application and parts of the M2M ecosystem.

“We need to know more about what is happening in the M2M ecosystem in terms of new solutions and applications, which is one important reason we are sponsoring the competition. Another reason is that our involvement can benefit our customers in finding new applications or companies to partner with to develop their M2M offering.”

“Mez says M2M communication requires new ways of thinking and finding solutions to problems that are not even identified yet. As an example, he mentions a cleaning company that wanted help to remotely monitor the amount of dust in offices and check whether the plants needed watering. Thereby the company could allocate resources more efficiently.

Miguel Blockstrand, Head of Product Line Device Connections at Ericsson, says: “Only our imagination sets the limits for what can be accomplished in M2M. We find it inspiring to encourage the ecosystem and the creation of new ideas.”