New South Wales, Australia Launches Smart City Innovation Challenges

The state of New South Wales in Australia is inviting businesses in the startup and emerging tech sectors to join its Smart City Innovation Challenges.

“With the rapid pace of technological change, we need a fresh approach. We want to make sure we target new and emerging solutions and support our strong and growing startup sector,” Digital Government minister, Victor Dominello, said. “Start-ups and the emerging tech sector are sometimes best placed to understand how technology can solve problems. They can bring fresh ideas to the table and by working together, we can develop solutions for these complex problems faced by communities. These challenges are the first of their kind in New South Wales for smart cities. This is a great opportunity for the brightest minds to develop ideas to make life easier for people across the State.”

During each challenge, up to 10 proposals will be presented at a live pitch event. The three best proposals chosen will receive AUS$50,000 to conduct a feasibility study. Each winner will be awarded AUS$1 million to develop a proof of concept over the next 12 months which – if successful – could be followed by further scale up or government procurement. The winner will also be given access to subject matter experts.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Investment NSW, and the state government’s agency partner will oversee the challenge. The challenges are funded through the AUS$45 million Smart Places Acceleration Program, which is part of the Digital Restart Fund –  Australia’s digital infrastructure program with a total lifetime value of AUS$2.1 billion.