Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Awards Mentorship, Products, Services

The Smart Cities Council is accepting applications for its 2018 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge Grants through December 15, 2017. Applicants are eligible from all communities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico — including cities, counties, states, provinces, and regional authorities (port, transit, etc.).

“Our Readiness Challenge program is about finding cities that are ready to take the next step — cities that are ready to move from talking about the future to actually building it,” said Jesse Berst, chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “Along those lines, we’re looking for cities that already have some idea about what they want to accomplish, and have identified and are involving the stakeholders who will be necessary to turn that vision into reality. We also believe that smart cities are equitable cities, and we give priority to plans that benefit populations that have traditionally been under-served.”

Each of the five winning cities will receive a year’s worth of free mentoring, products and services from organizations such Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES., a Readiness Workshop, membership in the Smart Cities Leadership Circle, and worldwide publicity. There is no separate cash award. The Readiness Workshops are customized, interactive gatherings meant to attract stakeholders from across the community to work together to create a road map for implementing smart city technology and direction.

“Road maps are unique to each city and capture the findings raised during the workshop discussions. As a new feature in 2018, these road maps will now include clear next steps for cities to help them turn the vision they built during the workshop into an action plan,” said Berst. “After we deliver the Readiness Workshop in the city, we will continue to work with the grant recipient, providing hands-on support as they begin putting their plans into action.”

Now entering its second year, the first year winners in 2017 were Miami, Austin, Indianapolis, Orlando and Philadelphia.