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NextChallenge: Smart Cities, Winners to receive $80,000


Today’s cities are facing many common challenges in the areas of safety, mobility, emissions, accessibility, and congestion. With urban population estimates calculating growth to rise from 54% in 2014 to 66% by 2050, stresses on a city’s services and infrastructure are expected to grow as well. NextEnergy thinks innovation is an important mechanism to proactively address the challenges facing cities and identify opportunities for new business models.
NextChallenge: Smart Cities focuses on accelerating connected, interactive and data driven solutions in advanced energy and mobility that address unmet needs in urban areas by seeking out solutions from technology companies with ideas to solve them (i.e. “Solution Providers”). Through this challenge, innovations will be demonstrated that create safer and more efficient places for people to live and work – and have a lower impact on the environment.


NextEnergy, one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy and transportation technologies, in partnership with Wells Fargo, DENSO and DTE Energy are seeking to accelerate the development of hardware and/or software solutions that will address real-world challenges facing urban areas.
Successful proposals will result in one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Improved user access and experience
  • Improved safety and security
  • Reduced impact on the environment and public health caused by emissions, land use, and/or congestion

The challenge will create a pipeline of smart city technological and entrepreneurial innovation concepts with the end goal of demonstrating these innovations at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit, or other applicable site. The demonstration will provide the Solution Provider the following:

  • Relationship-building opportunities with industry and urban leaders – increases visibility of innovation through the review process and mentoring opportunities
  • Demonstration deployment – technologies vetted by experts in real-world settings
  • Accelerated commercialization timelime – provides proof-of-concept metrics to share that can help to fast-track technology commercialization


Participants in NextChallenge: Smart Cities vie for a grant and/or funding to execute a demonstration that will showcase a smart city solution addressing an urban challenge.
One winner will be awarded up to $80,000 to demonstrate and validate their solution in 2017 at NextEnergy Center in Detroit, or applicable site that meets the needs of the selected solution.
Terms of the award will be executed via a Statement of Work between NextEnergy and Winner.
Up to four additional grants with a combined total of $20,000 will be awarded to finalist(s).
From this selected pool of winner and finalist(s), the challenge intends to award at least 1 small business, but may elect not to if responsive proposals are not received by any qualifying small businesses.
Application Method:
To apply for this challenge,  CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW

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