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2018 Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge FAQs

Submitted by scc staff on October 26, 2016
How do I apply?

You can submit your application starting on September 5th, 2017 by following this link. Use this to request access to a full application. The full application must be submitted no later than December 15, 2017 at midnight Pacific Time. We’re looking for cities and states that are ready to apply smart technologies to improve community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience.

What benefits will winners receive?

For each winner, the Smart Cities Council will deliver a one-day smart cities workshop. Participants will include approximately 150 government leaders, private sector and academic experts and other key region stakeholders. The Council will custom design each workshop to the special needs of that city or state.

The Readiness Program provides a significant 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.

Click here to review a list of the in-kind products and services being offered by sponsors of the 2018 Readiness Challenge.

What are the rules?

1)          There must be a single lead applicant for each application. This lead applicant may be any local or state government entity including a city, county, special district, municipality, state, province, or similar entity.

2)          The applicant must be within the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

3)          Additional government entities can support the lead applicant.

4)     Any one government entity can only participate in a single application.

5)     The lead applicant plus supporting government entities must have a population greater than 100,000.

6)     Applicants must demonstrate commitment by including a cover letter from their chief executive (e.g. mayor or governor).

7)     Applicants must agree to the Smart City Principles espoused by the Smart Cities Council, which call for an inclusive, equitable, “people-first” approach and a commitment to community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience.

8)     Applicants must agree to allow the Council to publish high-level summaries of their event on the Council’s website.

9)     Applicants must supply a venue suitable for plenary sessions of up to 150 plus at least four break-out spaces.

Which countries are eligible?

The lead applicant must be within the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

Do I need to be a city to apply?

No. The applicant may be any local or state government entity including a city, county, special district, municipality, state, province, or similar entity.

Do I need to raise matching funds?

No. However, winning applicants must supply a venue suitable for plenary sessions of up to 150 and commit to all event costs including audiovisual support, food, etc.

How long will the application take to complete?

The application is designed to be completed within about 24-32 hours of effort. The application is also carefully structured to provide knowledge resources relating to application questions. The process of completing the application will enhance your existing efforts.

What do you need to know about my smart city efforts?

1)     Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to widespread stakeholder engagement by sharing a list of the leadership and organizations they propose to invite.

2)     Applicants must demonstrate capacity by briefly listing existing smart city projects, plans, policies and leadership efforts.

3)     Applicants must designate three theme areas that represent city priorities and discuss challenges and opportunities in these areas.

4)     Applicants must address how they will use smart technologies to help vulnerable or marginalized people or neighborhoods.

Who decides on finalists and winners?

The selection committee will include Smart Cities Council staff, Partners and Advisory Board members. The committee includes smart cities experts with expertise covering a wide range of key city responsibility areas.

What are the criteria for a successful application?

Applications are judged on the basis of 100 available points. The Smart Cities Capacity area includes 10 questions worth 4 points each for a total of 40 points. Each applicant must also choose three key city responsibility areas, each of which is worth 20 points, for a total of 60 points. Answers will be evaluated on the basis of strength of vision, clarity of strategy, supporting capacity and opportunity for the applicant (and supporting jurisdictions) to make a major advance based on receiving the Readiness Challenge Grant.

How many awards are available?

A total of five Smart Cities Council Challenge Grants will be awarded.

How soon will I hear the decision on my application?

You will receive reminders on your application once you have submitted the initial request for access to a full application. All applicants will be notified whether or not they are finalist by January 11, 2018. Winners will be announced on January 16, 2018.

If my proposal isn’t accepted, will I know why?

We will provide feedback on all applications, including additional learning resources and diagnostics. We will also give applicants not selected as winners the opportunity to participate in activities similar to the Readiness Challenge if they are able to generate matching resources.

What if my question isn’t answered in the FAQ?

Please submit additional questions to Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst.