Canada Launches Smart City Challenge

As part of the Canadian government’s Impact Canada initiative – a program that focuses on tackling economic, environmental, and social problems – the Smart City Challenge has been launched. Municipalities, local or regional governments, and indigenous communities are encouraged to apply to the program with proposals to improve people’s lives through the use of data and technology.

“This challenge — the first of its kind in Canada — will encourage communities to innovate and take risks to improve people’s lives,” said Amarjeet Sohi, minister of infrastructure and communities. “Across the country, communities large and small are bursting with new ideas. The Smart Cities Challenge will help bring them to life, and find solutions that achieve real and positive outcomes for Canada’s middle class.”

The prizes for the Challenge include $50 million CAD available to all communities; two prizes of up to $10 million, available to communities below 500,000 residents; and one prize of up to $5 million, available to communities with under 30,000 residents.

Infrastructure Canada is actively working with indigenous leaders, communities, and organizations to finalize the design of a competition that will reflect their unique realities and issues.

“The Government of Canada has recognized it must be bold, ambitious, and inventive when tackling difficult challenges. As the lead in the Government of Canada for the Impact Canada Initiative, I am pleased to be part of an approach that will help governments deliver meaningful results to Canadians,” said Karina Gould, minister of democratic institutions. “I look forward to the creative solutions that are developed as part of the Smart Cities Challenge and other future Impact Canada Initiatives, and to seeing the ideas of Canada’s best and brightest come to life.”

Applications will be accepted until April 24, 2018, and winners will be announced in Spring 2019.