This year, applicants for the 4th edition of BIG Smart Cities were able to enter projects in four opportunity areas: Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Tourism and Smart Government. Of the more than two hundred applications submitted, 40% of the business ideas received were in the Smart Living category. This is a difference from previous editions, when the Smart Tourism category has always led.
The first finalists of this year’s BIG Smart Cities were decided in the Oporto, Coimbra, Évora and Lisbon City Challenges. As well as qualifying for the final stage of the competition, they each received a prize of 500 euros. They are:
- Noxidity (Lisbon): Concept that proposes installing sensors that detect the oxidation of materials, enabling savings to be made in maintenance programmes relating to the corrosion of metal alloys;
- City Check (Évora): Application that enables users to explore a city through challenges (questions and puzzles, for example);
- E-Energy (Coimbra): Idea for developing an electric vehicle recharging network through a community formed by users themselves, thanks to an adapter that turns any electrical plug into a charging point;
- Night Out (Porto): Mobile application proposed by young students that enables users to find out in real time about the environment of the various places where they can go out at night.
The 20 finalists this year (a list can be found at www.bigsmartcities.com) will now participate in a nine-week pre-acceleration programme where, in addition to a co-working space, they will receive training, mentoring and support to transform their ideas into viable businesses. The final of BIG Smart Cities will take place on 5 July, at which the finalists’ pitches will be publicly presented and the winning project and four honourable mentions will be announced.
The technological proposal that presents the most relevant idea for cities will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros, six months’ incubation at Vodafone Power Lab – where they will be able to develop their idea, receiving training, coaching and mentoring sessions and benefiting from the environment of knowledge and experience sharing and mutual support between start-ups that exists at the accelerator – and will have the opportunity to visit an Ericsson innovation centre in Europe.