SMART TECH DISCOVERY CHALLENGE

As communities grow, challenges occur. Technology, data, and connectivity can be utilized to enhance the quality of life and operational efficiencies of communities.

Stafford County Economic Development Authority in partnership with Town of Colonial Beach Economic Development and Middlesex County Economic Development (the partners) held conversations with local leaders, professional staff, and other stakeholders across 15 Virginia localities (public sector participants) to learn about their community problem areas and development problem statements.

These communities are interested in exploring new tools and concepts to help solve their challenges and are eager to work with private sector providers to co-develop those solutions. Don’t miss this opportunity to pitch your solutions!

Selected solutions are invited to pitch their solutions to the communities June 11-12!

Applications Are Closed – Thank You For Your Interest!

TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Air Quality Monitoring
  • Digital Divide/Broadband
  • Healthcare
  • Landfill Management / Littering Management
  • Smart Mobility (Pedestrian, Parking, Traffic Planning/Management)
  • Wastewater / Water Monitoring & Management

Click here to view detailed problem statements.

HOW TO APPLY

WHO SHOULD APPLY

This call is open to individuals, entrepreneurs, startups, and companies from any sector. Some technology areas of interest are:

  • AI/ML
  • Community Engagement Mobile Apps
  • Data Analytics and Visualization Platforms
  • Edge Computing
  • Integrated Sensor Networks
  • IoT
  • Sensors

We encourage diverse perspectives and multidisciplinary approaches. Solutions may address one or multiple of the problem areas.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Submissions should explain the technology, the primary application area, secondary application area (if applicable), why communities should be interested in this technology, potential pilot plan and proposed annual cost for deployment based on the problem statements outlined, and expected benefits after a one year deployment in real-world situations.

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and uniqueness of the solution.
  • Potential impact on the targeted smart community sector.
  • Feasibility and scalability.
  • Sustainability and environmental considerations.
  • Collaborative and inclusive approaches.
  • Ability to solve multiple problems and/or incorporate other solutions.

Submissions will be reviewed by the partners and top ranked submissions will be notified by May 13, 2024.

Top ranked submissions will present their solutions to the public sector in person June 11-12, 2024 in Stafford, VA and across the broader region.

In-person confirmation must be provided by May 18, 2024. *Invited solutions will be provided a transportation and lodging stipend. More details will be provided later.

Applications Are Closed – Thank You For Your Interest!

DETAILED PROBLEM STATEMENTS

Air Quality Monitoring

Communities and individuals are increasingly at risk due to the adverse health effects associated with exposure to particulates. Regional there are no monitors that read PM2.5 or PM10 and integrate with AirNow.gov. Public sector participants seek solutions that monitor air quality in real-time, support remote monitoring capabilities, and seamlessly integrate with or offer user-friendly mobile applications and community engagement platforms. This comprehensive approach aims to enhance accessibility, user interaction, and community involvement in monitoring and addressing air quality concerns. Solutions should provide accurate data on air pollution levels, enable proactive measures, and engage communities in addressing air quality challenges.

Digital Divide (Broadband/Connectivity)

Much of the area has limited broadband and spotty cellular connections, posing challenges for individuals working from home, communities hosting events, and emergency personnel. Public sector participants seek solutions that develop and implement technologies that provide reliable and affordable internet connectivity in areas where traditional broadband infrastructure is lacking; create communication platforms that operate efficiently in low-bandwidth environments; propose solutions that enable remote learning and access to educational resources in areas with limited connectivity; develop telehealth and telemedicine solutions suitable for areas with limited connectivity; encourage the development of platforms that empower local communities to create and share digital content; and proposals addressing the needs of rural or remote farmers by leveraging technology for precision agriculture.

Healthcare

Rural communities face challenges in addressing medical emergencies for aging populations due to limited access to ambulances and medical facilities, resulting in delayed response times and inadequate care. Public sector participants seek innovative solutions leveraging technology to improve emergency dispatch services, empower community-based response teams with mobile applications for real-time communication and navigation, and implement data-driven collaboration platforms among local stakeholders. These solutions aim to enhance resource allocation, response times, and overall effectiveness in providing timely medical assistance to elderly residents in underserved rural areas.

Landfill

Overfilled landfills are a pressing concern, posing environmental, health, and logistical issues that demand immediate attention. Conventional waste management systems struggle to cope with the increasing volume of urban waste, leading to overfilled landfills, environmental degradation, and compromised living conditions for city residents. Public sector participants seek solutions that focus on developing smart community solutions that are practical, scalable, and sustainable approaches to waste management that minimize the environmental impact and contribute to building resilient, waste-free communities. Smart solutions integrating sensor networks, data analytics, efficient waste management strategies, and new ways of disposal of trash are encouraged.

Littering

Littering continues to be a persistent challenge that impacts the cleanliness, aesthetics, and environmental health of our communities. Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness, conventional approaches to combat littering have proven to be insufficient. Proposals should focus on developing intelligent, scalable, and user-friendly solutions that not only detect and address littering incidents but also engage communities in fostering a cleaner, more sustainable environment.

Smart Mobility – Pedestrian, Parking, and Traffic Management

The current lack of efficient parking communication tools poses challenges for drivers and communities, leading to congestion and wasted resources. A comprehensive solution is needed, providing real-time parking information accessible to the public. Public sector participants seek tools monitoring vehicular and pedestrian traffic, optimizing flow, and updating parking availability in real-time. Solutions should enhance pedestrian safety, integrate traffic management systems, and enable two-way communication for user input on parking availability and issues. This collaborative approach aims to create a dynamic parking ecosystem, minimizing congestion and enhancing efficiency.

Water / Wastewater Monitoring & Management

The current state of water resource management and quality is marked by a significant lack of comprehensive knowledge regarding the origin, utilization patterns, and overall quality of water. Insufficient data and monitoring systems hinder the ability to make informed decisions, leading to challenges in ensuring the sustainable and use of water resources in the face of growing population, climate variability, and increasing demands from diverse sectors. Furthermore, leaks and spills from aging wastewater treatment centers have caused issues for water management and caused local community members to be concerned for personal and environmental safety. Current monitoring systems often lack real-time capabilities, posing potential risks to public health and safety. The absence of immediate alerts and communication tools further exacerbates the problem. Public sector participants seek advanced wastewater monitoring solutions with real-time capabilities and alert sensors. Integration with mobile apps and community engagement platforms is favored. Proposals may involve sensor networks, IoT, and data analytics for comprehensive water management.