Is your city eligible?
For the 2017 cycle, the Smarter Cities Challenge is open to local and regional general-purpose governing bodies, including cities, counties, prefectures, boroughs and districts. Special districts, such as port authorities, school districts, or utility districts are not currently eligible for the program.
Cities that have previously received a Smarter Cities Challenge grant are eligible to apply for a second grant. The city must demonstrate substantive progress on the topic of their first grant. The new application may propose to build on the accomplishments resulting from the first grant or address a new topic.
For more information on the selection criteria, download the 2017 Application Guide.
2017 selection process: key dates
6 – 24 February 2017
Cities complete a Statement of Interest, briefly describing their proposed project for a Smarter Cities Challenge award.
Submit Statement of Interest
6 – 17 March 2017
A select number of cities will be invited to complete an application, elaborating on the challenge laid out in their Statement of Interest.
March – April 2017
Semifinalists will be selected and invited to a project scoping discussion with the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program team.
April – May 2017
Finalists will be selected and invited to participate in a finalist interview.
All applicants will be informed of the status of their application, and winners will be announced.
June 2017 – May 2018
Awarded projects will be deployed over the following 12 months.
What to expect
Collaboration between the host city and IBM is key to a successful Smarter Cities Challenge. Host cities are responsible for preparing their organization and community stakeholders to receive their Smarter Cities Challenge team and for supporting the team prior to and during its three weeks on-site. This includes dedicating staff members to support the IBM team’s work on a day-to-day basis as well as building interest and momentum for the project throughout city organizations and with key community stakeholders.
For more information about host city responsibilities throughout the grant engagement, including key roles, pre-deployment activities and project logistics, download the 2017 Application Guide.