Amazon Web Services (AWS) wants to shine a light on cities and educational organizations that are using technology to innovate, disrupt and modernize services for its citizens and students.

The company is looking for applicants for its City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge, which recognizes local and regional governments, as well as private and public schools and districts, who are making advancements within the areas of sanitation, city planning, street maintenance, disaster preparedness, voting, and more.

The entry period began on Mar. 1 and will go until midnight on May 12. Winning applicants will receive up to $50,000 in promotional credits from AWS to support their projects. The first round of judging begins on May 15.

With three awards categories – Best Practices, Partners in Innovation, and Dream Big – the challenge is open to cities and educational organizations, both large and small, around the world, including in Canada, AWS tells IT World Canada.

The Best Practices category targets groups who have deployed an innovative solution to solve a government challenge, and will be judged on how services have been expanded based on implementation of the solution, use of AWS Services, and the significance of the solution to the local community, measured by cost savings and benefits to citizens.

The Partners in Innovation award will be granted to a technology partner “who has deployed an innovative solution to solve a government or teaching and learning challenge,” AWS says. Entries will be considered based on the uniqueness of the application, the number and type of users of the application, its applicability and availability to governments of different sizes, scopes and regions, and its availability on the AWS Marketplace in 2017.

And finally, the Dream Big award is for an organization with a great idea it wants to implement. The soundness of the solution, plan for implementation, and likely impact on the surrounding community are the only judging criteria.

Some previous winners include BodyWorn, a police-worn body camera “that helps keep officers safe by reporting their location and automatically uploading video evidence to the AWS cloud;” OpenGrid Chicago, which helps citizens with real-time weather, road closures, and transit data; as well as the NYC Department of Transportation, which used AWS to track and record damage after superstorm Sandy.

Entrants must have an AWS account to be considered. More information on how to apply, as well as rules and restrictions, are available on the AWS website.



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