Whether you have an idea for a single product like Marty McFly’s hoverboard or dream of connecting an entire Jetson-like cityscape with flying cars and robot maids, a new competition open to all students, faculty and staff at Wisconsin universities and technical colleges could help get your idea off the ground.

The Smart Cities–Smart Futures competition was announced by Foxconn at the Smart Futures Summit last month at UW–Parkside to incentivize new technologies and concepts aimed at developing smart, connected cities. Student proposals and faculty-led research that could enhance connected living and work spaces or generate technological innovations are all eligible. The portal for submitting ideas is open until the end of this month for first round submissions (website).

Foxconn launched the competition with UW System, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (of which MSOE is a member) and the Wisconsin Technical College System to spark innovation in optimizing resources, connected infrastructure, sustainable development tools, and smart manufacturing. The contest is the latest component of Foxconn’s support of new and emerging technology in Wisconsin. 

The Smart Cities – Smart Futures competition will award up to $1 million in prizes. Individuals and teams with the best ideas will receive technical support as well as financial or in-kind contributions to help develop their proposals for possible implementation. Up to 100 first-round winners will receive $500, up to 50 second round winners will receive $1,500, and up to 16 final round winners will be awarded the $5,000 “President’s Award.”

The initial timeline for the competition calls for first round submissions until October 31st, while subsequent successive rounds will be issued through next March.

The website (www.wismartcities-smartfutures.com) for the competition hosts information and regular updates about the progress of the contest, and will be used for submissions.  PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS AND CONCEPTS VIA THE WEBSITE. You can also follow the progress on Twitter with “@SmartCitiesWI.”