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Gateway Smart Cities-Smart Futures winnners

Gateway horticulture instructor Kate Field, left, and Gateway student Donald Heckel, right, were among the 30 Round Two winners in Foxconn's statewide Smart Cities-Smart Futures contest. Field advanced in the food category, while Heckel advanced in the transportation category. Heckel collaborated with Gateway instructor Steve Whitmoyer, center, on his proposal.

STURTEVANT – Foxconn Technology Group announced winners of the second round of the Smart Cities—Smart Futures competition at the SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant Wednesday.

According to a news release, during the ceremony Foxconn recognized 30 “outstanding” ideas submitted by students, faculty and staff representing Carroll University, Concordia University, Gateway Technical College, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville, and UW-Whitewater, among others.

The Smart Cities—Smart Futures competition encourages members of Wisconsin’s higher education community to generate innovative ideas that enhance quality of life, improve working environments, expand transportation networks, inspire creative city planning and promote sustainable energy solutions in the state.

As part of Foxconn’s commitment to partnering with academic institutions and fostering the academic and professional aspirations of students and staff, the company has pledged up to $1 million in cash and in-kind technical support in awards over the next three years. The 30 winners of the second round of the competition will each receive $1,500 to further develop their projects.

A total of 88 submissions were considered for the second round of the competition from the initial pool of 325 applications from the first round. Second-round competitors were required to write a 1,000-word essay and create a two-minute video pitch about how their idea could be used in a “smart city.” The 30 winners will move on to the third and final round of the competition.

Ideas submitted covered various aspects of smart cities, including energy and the environment, mobility and transportation, education, e-health, software, the Internet of Things, smart homes, robotics and manufacturing, and big data analytics.

Final round coming

Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s director of U.S. strategic initiatives, stated, “The Smart Cities—Smart Futures competition has become a driving force for creating novel ideas that could help improve people’s lives in terms of work, travel, leisure and health. As we endeavor to create an ecosystem of innovation here in Wisconsin, these submissions show us how creative thinking and technology can benefit our communities. Foxconn is grateful for the ongoing support and collaboration of our partners in contributing to the success of the competition, and we look forward to seeing what the final round of the competition will bring.”

The third and final round of the competition will last until the end of April. Fifty judges will evaluate proposals based on clarity, impact, marketability and other criteria. Up to 16 winners will be announced and will receive $5,000 each and technical support to further develop and implement their ideas.

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 academic partners, the competition is also supported by several groups including the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Technology Council, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WiSys Technology Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation.

For more information about the competition, visit: https://wismartcities-smartfutures.com/

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Reporter

Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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