Washington, D.C. — The Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network, will award additional benefits through its 2018 Readiness Challenge Grants to five North American communities looking to accelerate their smart city initiatives. The application deadline is December 15, 2017, and the program is available for all communities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – including cities, counties, states, provinces and regional authorities.
Each grant recipient will receive a year’s worth of free mentoring, a custom-designed, onsite Readiness Workshop, membership in the Smart Cities Leadership Circle and worldwide publicity. The winning communities will also receive free products and services worth hundreds of thousands from leading organizations, including Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES.
“Each year, the Smart Cities Council and our member companies donate valuable products and services to help five communities adopt smart technologies to become more livable, workable and sustainable,” explained Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst. “And it’s not just the winners who come out ahead. Our past entrants confirm there’s plenty to gain by filling out the application. This process alone has helped many communities move their smart city efforts into the fast lane.”
Last year, the following five U.S. cities received grants: Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia. Austin’s Readiness Workshop significantly helped the city and its regional stakeholders shape key strategies on issues ranging from open data to public private partnerships and from smart affordable housing to digital civic engagement. And Philadelphia’s recent Readiness Workshop helped increase civic engagement for their Roadmap process, informing smart cities projects and investment priorities for the next several years.
The 2018 semi-finalists will be announced at an awards reception January 23, 2018 during the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting in Washington, D.C. The five winners will be announced in February.