Philadelphia Pitch & Pilot Initiative Solves Urban Challenges

The City of Philadelphia is seeking public/private partnerships in order to solve urban problems with technological innovations. The “Pitch & Pilot” initiative is led by the city’s Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) – a working group consisting of city departments, academics and researchers, and private-sector leaders.

“The program is aiming to spur partnerships and create an environment in which the government can collaborate with the private sector,” said Emily Yates, Philly’s smart city director.

The current solicitation – which is open through January 16, 2020 – focuses on waste reduction and diversion. It seeks tech solutions to track waste generation, encourage reduced consumption of disposable materials, and promote diversion from landfills and incinerators. The initiative will help advance Philadelphia’s goal to reach “zero waste,” or to nearly eliminate diversion to landfills and conventional incinerators by the year 2035.

According to the City, the winning solution provider will be awarded up to $34,000 to pilot a solution that:

  • aligns with the guiding principles of the SmartCityPHL Roadmap;
  • uses an innovative approach to advance the City’s priorities;
  • prioritizes disadvantaged residents and communities;
  • maintains resident privacy and data security;
  • proves its value to the city in the context of a pilot; and,
  • has the potential to scale upward.

The OIT expects this round of the Pitch & Pilot program to be one of many – and that the program will provide solutions for multiple municipal issues a year, as well as serving as a guide for how the City can work with private entities to solve municipal problems in the future.