TORONTO — The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) has issued a statement praising the federal government’s newly announced Smart Cities Challenge, calling it “an exciting initiative that will allow Canadian communities to take a global leadership role in this first digital century.”
The innovation awards competition, officially unveiled by federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi in Calgary Nov. 23, is open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and indigenous communities.
The challenge “encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology,” noted a media statement.
Awards will include:
- one prize of up to $50 million open to all communities, regardless of population;
- two prizes of up to $10 million open to all communities with populations under 500,000 people; and
- one prize of up to $5 million open to all communities with populations under 30,000 people.
Sohi told the Daily Commercial News at the recent CCPPP conference held in Toronto, “The focus is to mobilize resources, local expertise and technology and utilize data to improve efficiency and services within the system. We believe (the prizes) will act as a catalyst to unlock a large amount of private sector and institutional expertise to look at technology to improve services and to improve livability in communities.”
Mark Romoff, CCPPP president and CEO, commented in the statement, “CCPPP has been a long-time supporter and promoter of the Smart Cities Challenge. This is a great opportunity to put Canadian ingenuity and resourcefulness on display to create communities that are safer, healthier, more accessible and economically vibrant. We congratulate the government for promoting and accelerating ‘big think’ ideas.”
The deadline for applications is April 24, 2018. A jury will select finalists, and Infrastructure Canada will provide $250,000 in grants for them to develop their proposals. The jury will select the winners by spring 2019.