The judges award the prize for the first place winner (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Fifteen teams from around the world were selected to pitch their smart cities solutions for Vietnam at the Smart City Innovation Challenge (SCIC) Demo Day in Hanoi on November 13.

The Smart City Innovation Challenge, launched in July this year, sought smart city solutions in 12 key focus areas identified by the city governments and the smart city steering committees of Vietnam.

These include affordable housing, energy efficiency, traffic management and smarter parking, waste management, urban agriculture, water purification and delivery, public security and monitoring of natural disasters, ecotourism and environmental planning, health care, education, e-government services and more greenery and public spaces. The call specified that solutions should be suitable for Vietnam’s cities.

The competition received 197 submissions from over 30 countries. A selection committee of industry judges shortlisted the 15 finalists.

They come from the United States, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel, China, Australia and Vietnam.

Three winners will be selected at the Demo Day. They will receive cash prizes and be linked to the cities’ acceleration programs to help localise their solutions. After that, the winners can secure projects if they meet the cities’ needs.

TNB Ventures, a venture capital partner for Smart City Innovation Challenge Vietnam, will also consider Series A funding for high-potential companies.

Dominic Mellor, head of the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), said that the demand for innovative solutions to develop cities in Vietnam has never been higher. Rapid development has pushed urban infrastructure beyond its capacity.

Speaking at the sideline of the event, Phan Dinh Tuan Anh, founder of Angles 4 Us, the largest private investment community in Vietnam, said that the 15 finalists all belong to reputable high-technology companies.

The problem now is how to adjust the technology solutions to meet the needs of Vietnamese market and users. “These include price, application capacity and deployment scale,” he said.-VNA