Smart City Innovation Challenges: NSW govt seeks new ideas from emerging technology market


The NSW Government will provide $3 million and host Smart City Innovation Challenges, to attract leading edge technology and data solutions to problems faced by communities.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the Government would launch three Innovation Challenges this year to seek new ideas from the emerging technology market, with the first challenge to be released in April.

“For every challenge we release, up to $1 million will be available for the best proposal to test their solution with the NSW Government as a partner,” Mr Dominello said.

“With the rapid pace of technological change, we need a fresh approach. We want to make sure we target new and emerging solutions and support our strong and growing start-up sector.

“Start-ups and the emerging tech sector are sometimes best placed to understand how technology can solve problems. They can bring fresh ideas to the table and by working together, we can develop solutions for these complex problems faced by communities.

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“These challenges are the first of their kind in NSW for smart cities. This is a great opportunity for the brightest minds to develop ideas to make life easier for people across the State.”

Each challenge will start with an open call for proposals to address a specific problem statement, with the best entries presented live at a pitch event. Three proposals will be supported with funding and access to information and subject matter experts to further refine their solutions.

For each challenge, up to $1 million is then available for one proposal to go on and develop a proof of concept over 12 months, with the potential for further scale-up of the solution if it is successful.

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The Smart City Innovation Challenges will build on the success of the NSW Government’s Smart Places Acceleration Program, which is funding initiatives to:

  • Use AI and sensors at Sydney Olympic Park to help manage recycled water more efficiently, making public spaces cooler and greener;
  • Improve the Park’n’Pay Program so drivers have a seamless and simple parking experience; and
  • Use new technologies to manage our kerbsides flexibly, making roads more efficient and streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

The Innovation Challenges are made possible by the Smart Places Acceleration Program, a $45 million allocation from the Digital Restart Fund.

To know more, or register to receive updates on the Smart City Innovation Challenges, visit