AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

AWS 2016 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge Is Live: Are you Ready?

Today, we announced the call for entries for the AWS 2016 City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, a global program to recognize local and regional governments and technology partners that are innovating for the benefit of citizens using the AWS Cloud.

We have consistently seen our customers engage in innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to take advantage of the cloud. Cities offer an immediate experience of technology that can directly impact you, the citizens who work, live, and raise your kids in these communities. That is why we started the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge!

The City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge recognizes state and local governments for how they are innovating on behalf of citizens today, and to share those best practices throughout the world. Cloud technology has led to the creation of modern programs and services that are enhancing citizens’ lives and making the world a better place, and we want to continue to discover how cities are using the cloud—and help other cities realize their dreams.

From an innovative data archival system to a platform of custom sites that allow citizens to review, analyze and comment on local government priorities in ways previously unavailable, the winners of previous City on a Cloud Innovation Challenges included a cross-section of local and regional governments who used AWS Cloud to further their mission and better serve their constituencies in meaningful ways. For example, London City Airport won the 2014 “Best Practices” award for their “Smart Airport Experience” project, which demonstrated how Internet of Things (IoT) technologies could be used to both enhance customer experiences and improve operational efficiency at a popular business airport. Last year, PARK SMART took home the “Partners in Innovation” award for their software platform which indicates real-time availability of parking lots in monitored areas. Also, last year’s “Dream Big” winner was the City of Chicago with their OpenGrid project, an open-source geographical information system that supports real-time monitoring of data and historical data retrieval using open data.

And dreaming big is what it is all about.

“With the AWS Cloud, the City of Chicago was able to launch OpenGrid, a first-of-its-kind, open data website and mobile app that city residents can use to search for useful information and events around them ranging from real-time weather, Tweets and requests for city services to street closures, transit data, and potholes nearby,” said Tom Schenk, Chief Data Officer and 2015 City on a Cloud Dream Big Award winner. “OpenGrid is representative of Chicago’s commitment to making city data available to all residents in a transparent, innovative, and open source platform.”

AWS and a panel of worldwide experts will award a total of $250,000 in AWS promotional credits to eight grand prize winners from three award categories: Best Practices, Partners in Innovation, and Dream Big, a category that recognizes the best ideas for a cloud innovation, and award credits for its implementation.

Entries must be received no later than May 13, 2016 and will be judged based on one or more criteria, including:

  • The impact of the solution
  • Likelihood of long-term success
  • Implementation of AWS services
  • Potential to help other local governments solve similar challenges.

Learn more about the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge here, and see the official rules for more details here.

City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge winners will be announced on June 21, 2016, at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C. You won’t want to miss it!

All City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge entries must include AWS cloud computing services – either implemented or proposed, depending on the category. Entries will be reviewed and considered by a panel of AWS representatives and international experts.

We look forward to this year’s City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge and to seeing what local governments will use the cloud to accomplish next.

To learn more about the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, visit the challenge page. Get inspired and see how local and regional AWS customers around the world are using the AWS Cloud, by visiting the interactive “City on a Cloud Innovation Map.”