The Smart Cities Council is kicking off Smart Cities week with a challenger grant program for cities to apply smart technologies to improve urban livability. The Council will pick five cities for the first round of this grant program.
For each winning city, the Smart Cities Council will deliver a one-day Readiness Program workshop with participants including approximately 100 of the city’s government leaders, private sector and academic experts, and other key local stakeholders. The Council will custom design each workshop to the special needs of that city, taking into account their immediate needs, long-term goals and current use of smart technologies.
The Readiness Program provides an in-kind contribution of professional services; access to best practices from some of the world’s top smart city practitioners; access to the expertise of leading smart cities technology providers in a vendor-neutral setting; the opportunity to learn from peer cities and international visibility on the Council’s website and newsletter.
The Council says they are launching the grant in support of White House’s call to action to accelerate the development of smart cities. Today, the White House announced that it would be making $80 million in funding available for smart city projects. The White House plans to double the number of cities involved in its Smart Cities Initiative.
Federal dollars will be made available for projects aimed at improving climate, transportation, public safety and city services. (A full breakdown of how the $80 million will be split among each category is available here.)
The National Science Foundation also announced some $60 million in smart cities grants for FY2016, with more investments planned for FY2017.