North American Cities and States: Apply now for the 2018 Readiness Challenge!

How to apply

You can begin the application process by following this link which provides full instructions. The full application is due on Friday, November 10th, 2017, and winners will be announced on January 16th, 2017. A set of FAQs are also available. We also encourage you to attend a special application session at Smart Cities Week on October 3rd, 2017. If you have any questions, please email Chief Scientist Dr. Stuart Cowan,

About the grant

The Smart Cities Council commits to award five (5) Readiness Challenge Grants to help five North American cities or states apply smart technologies to improve community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience. For each of the five winning cities, the Council will deliver a tailored one-day Readiness Program during the 2018 calendar year; a Smart Cities Action Plan summarizing results for policy makers; technical assistance before and after the Readiness Program; and national publicity. And members of the Council will deliver additional benefits to each of the five cities, as described below.

The Readiness Program menu

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

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.

Additional grants and benefits

In addition to the Readiness Program winning cities will also receive these additional benefits from Council Partners and Advisors:

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Criteria for selection

Interested local and state governments will fill out a grant application to be considered. Winners will be selected according to the following criteria.

  • Only Applicants located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are eligible
  • The Applicant must be any local or state government entity including a city, county, special district, municipality, state, province, or similar entity
  • Population greater than 100,000 (may combine with neighboring local governments to reach population threshold)
  • Demonstrate commitment by including a cover letter from the Applicant’s chief executive (e.g. mayor or governor) affirming the official entry
  • Demonstrate capacity by referencing existing smart city practices, policies, programs, and planning efforts
  • Demonstrate a commitment to widespread stakeholder engagement by sharing a list of the leadership and organizations they propose to invite
  • Agree to the Smart City Principles espoused by the Smart Cities Council, which call for an inclusive, equitable, “people-first” approach that improves community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience
  • Propose at least three theme areas that represent key priorities, referencing how smart technologies will be used to help vulnerable or marginalized people or neighborhoods
  • Agree to allow the Council to publish high-level summaries of their event on the Council’s website
  • Supply a venue suitable for plenary sessions of at least 150 attendees with suitable break out spaces