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Foxconn: “Smart Cities—Smart Futures” competition draws hundreds of submissions, supports Wisconsin innovation

Contact: media@foxconn.com  

Milwaukee, WI – Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) today announced that it received 325 submissions from higher education students, faculty and staff from throughout Wisconsin for the first round of its “Smart CitiesSmart Futures” competition. The Foxconn initiative, which encourages the sharing of fresh ideas and unconventional thinking, saw entrants suggest ideas that use technology to address smart education, healthcare, transportation, and housing challenges.

The application period for the first round of the “Smart CitiesSmart Futures” competition was open from October 1st to 31st to students, faculty and staff at all University of Wisconsin (UW) campuses, technical colleges and independent colleges in Wisconsin. The competition aims to promote ideas that enhance quality of life, improve working environments, expand transportation networks and living spaces, inspire creative city planning, and promote sustainable energy solutions.

“Foxconn is committed to making a positive impact in the state, to respect, nurture and value the very qualities that first attracted us to Wisconsin – its quality of life and environment, its talented and hardworking people and its innovative and entrepreneurial tradition,” said Dr. Alan Yeung, Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives of Foxconn.   

“We foster this culture of innovation and provide a platform for students, faculty and staff from academic institutions across Wisconsin so they can bring their innovative ideas to life. This competition not only cultivates a new generation of innovative talents throughout Wisconsin, but also connects people to the emerging technologies of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Mount Pleasant,” he said.

Foxconn will provide up to $1 million in awards to the “Smart CitiesSmart Futures” initiative over the next three years. The individuals and teams will receive financial incentives and in-kind technical support to make these smart future projects a reality for their communities.  

Foxconn has partnered with the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Wisconsin Technical College System on the “Smart Cities—Smart Futures” competition.  In addition to the academic partners, the competition is also supported by several groups, including the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Technology Council, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the WiSys Technology Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation.

“Wisconsin’s technical colleges strive to develop in our students both technical skills and entrepreneurial thinking. The ‘Smart CitiesSmart Futures’ competition provides our students with a great opportunity to introduce concepts and build their professional networks, and to be recognized for their ideas and teamwork.” said Dr. Morna K. Foy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System.

"From our first conversations with Foxconn, it was clear its leaders recognize the value of cultivating talent and ideas. The initial wide range of creative responses to the ‘Smart CitiesSmart Futures’ competition from across UW System is evidence of the power and value of public-private partnerships," said Ray Cross, President of UW System. "Together higher education and industry across Wisconsin are fostering a strong ecosystem of innovative thinking and learning and helping to build a better future for all of us."

Dr. Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) expressed gratitude for the opportunity for WAICU's 24-member colleges and universities and their 56,000 students to participate in this exciting undertaking.

“Higher education is first and foremost about teaching and learning. One of the most important things for students to learn and faculty to teach is to create and innovate. The partners in “Smart CitiesSmart Futures” are taking responsibility for contributing to useful knowledge and building a better future," he said.

Consistent with Foxconn's goal of further engaging higher education professionals and community leaders, a panel of 50 judges have been selected from these institutions and organizations to evaluate submissions. Each submission will be evaluated independently by four judges who will use six criteria to develop a numeric score. Up to 100 winners will be selected and announced on or before December 11, 2018, and each will be awarded a $500 cash prize. The winners of the first round will also be invited to participate in the second round of the competition, which starts from mid-December and runs through January 2019. 

For more information about the competition, please visit: https://wismartcities-smartfutures.com/. Social media efforts for the competition are underway with the Twitter handle @SmartCitiesWI and hashtag #SmartCitiesWI, a Facebook page (facebook.com/SmartCitiesWI), an Instagram page (Instagram.com/smartcitieswi) and a LinkedIn page (linkedin.com/company/smartcitiesWI).  


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