CityTech RUHR is seeking startups from all over the world that are not afraid to take on different challenges that cities within the Ruhr area face with their innovative smart city solutions. Winners will have the opportunity to win paid pilot projects, work on real city challenges, be mentored by local and international experts, receive funding for their solution, and earn recognition in their field through their successful pilot.
The CityTech RUHR program is made up of four challenges for individual cities and their business partners in the Ruhr area:
- The Bochum Challenge: Automated preliminary review of construction projects for building permits – the Building Regulations Office of the City of Bochum is looking to streamline the process of applying for building permits;
- The Bottrop Challenge: How can technology and data support economic growth for local businesses? – seeking a solution to reduce the increasing vacancy rate of retail and other commercial properties in the city center;
- The Gelsenkirchen / Schalke 04 Challenge: Blockchain-enabled communication and community development including payment (S04 token) – The FC Schalke 04 Football Club wants to offer their members, visitors, and customers a communication and community development platform powered by Blockchain technology. The City of Gelsenkirchen wants the local crypto coin to be adopted by other services and marketplaces in the city, such as local retail, hospitality, and tourism; and,
- The Hagen Challenge: Incentivizing residents to use public and alternative means of transportation – seeking startup companies that offer solutions in the field of micro-mobility and mobility-as-a-service.
Thomas Eiskirch, Lord Mayor of Bochum, stated: “Of course, it is not only about the four cities, but about the whole Ruhr area. Even during the competition, these cities work well together and exchange information with each other. This creates a smart city spirit and we want to infect the whole metropolis with it: on the one hand to look after innovative ideas, but at the same time to develop innovative ideas that are transferable and that we want to make transferable. Because in the end we want to become Germany’s smartest region.”
Startups are encouraged to apply for one of the program’s challenges by May 3, 2020. More information about the CityTech RUHR call may be found on the challenge website.