Eight Global Cities Launch Technology Award to Help 40 Million Citizens

Eight global cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and North America join us in a challenge to find innovative solutions to major societal problems by opening competition among international solution-, technology- and service providers. The eight winners of the Living Labs Global Showcase Award will be invited to pilot their solutions in these cities, proving the effectiveness of new solutions and offering a first step for innovative providers to enter new markets.

The participating cities, representing 40 million citizens from Europe, Africa, North America and Asia call for solutions that can solve some of their most pressing challenges:

  • Automation of Urban Services
  • Intelligent Urban Lighting Solutions for Social Interaction & Orientation
  • Venture finance for millions of African entrepreneurs
  • Sustainable Initiative on Intellectual Property Protection
  • Creating the Next Generation of Government
  • Solutions for digitally enabled accessible ecoCities
  • Intelligent Transport Solutions
  • Smart solutions for 10,000 Smart Houses, 16 Green Communities, 1 Eco-City

Oracle Corporation and Asia’s Farglory have been named as corporate partners for the 2011 Living Labs Global Award. Submissions follow the format of the Living Labs Global Showcase and can be submitted for free until the 28th of February 2011. A shortlist of the top 40 Showcases will be presented by the international juries on March 21st 2011. Winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony on May 12th 2011 at the Stockholm Summit on Service Innovation in Cities.

Behind each Category lies the commitment of a city to pilot the winning showcase, with full institutional support to evaluate the impact the solution can have on reaching the community’s objectives.

Fuel for Thought

Potential solutions to our current energy and transportation concerns are often split into two camps: behavioral change and technological change.  As with most things, the likely outcome will probably be some combination of the two (if we do actually achieve a solution at all). On the technological front, Google recently announced its experiments with a robotically-controlled car that it claims could help solve safety, land use, energy consumption, and personal time management issues.  In other words, it pulled out quite a card.  They’ve already used to car to drive, automatically, from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California to Hollywood, navigating the notoriously windy and narrow Pacific Coast Highway. I want to share with you three videos.  The first is from this great New York Times piece covering Google’s announcement.  The second shows video of the car in action.  The third, however, offers some fuel for thought.  This video comes from 1958 when Disney imagined what the future of transport might be like; it’s got some surprising elements of similarity to Google’s advance.

-Terra Curtis