MILWAUKEE — Foxconn Technology Group has announced year two of the three-year Smart Cities-Smart Futures competition.

Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s director of U.S. strategic initiatives, made the announcement Monday before academic partners at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.

The first year’s contest drew 325 submissions from students, faculty, and staff representing 24 universities and colleges across Wisconsin, resulting in 12 final round winners.

Changes in year two include new submission categories with a primary program focus on smart manufacturing. New categories include agri-tech, health care, safety, mobility and energy sustainability. In addition, this year’s competition will include a data challenge in which contestants can utilize advanced manufacturing data to develop predictive and analytic solutions.

“Foxconn is excited to partner with higher education in Wisconsin as the ‘Smart Cities-Smart Futures’ competition continues to create the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to present their ideas that will improve our communities across Wisconsin,” Yeung stated in a news release.

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“The company’s commitment to this three-year initiative, providing up to $1 million in cash and in-kind technical support to winners, reflects Foxconn’s desire to encourage innovation and critical thinking among young people who represent the workforce of the future.”

Foxconn has partnered on the competition with the University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and Wisconsin Technical College System.

Throughout the coming months, Foxconn will be visiting colleges and universities across Wisconsin as part of a Smart Cities Smart Futures Campus Tour to promote the competition and encourage innovative thinkers to put forth their ideas and apply.

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

Year two first-round competition submissions will be due Oct. 20. For more information, visit wismartcities-smartfutures.com.

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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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