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Cities Turn to Technology Solutions to Solve Their Toughest Challenges

The Living Labs Global Award and Summit organizes a unique competition for cities around the world. It first asks them to describe their toughest challenges and then invites technology companies to vie for the chance to implement a solution that addresses a particular problem. Backed by Living Labs Global and The Climate Group, the 2012 summit identified the latest solution providers picked to launch a pilot project in the 21 participating cities. 

On the eve of the summit, held recently in Rio de Janeiro, Sascha Haselmayer, cofounder and general director of Living Labs Global, described how these partnerships benefit all types of cities.

Q: Why is this competition important?
A: Because we ask cities to describe the challenges most on their minds, they signal to the marketplace their priorities for the next three years. The format also builds awareness among cities that there is a large, global community of technology companies and solution providers that can solve many of their problems. Our framework also helps cities validate individual solutions.

Q: What role does Oracle play in these awards?
A: Oracle serves as a primary corporate sponsor, as well as a source of potential solutions, including its solutions for smart cities portfolio. It also works with smaller solution providers that need a strong partner to reach global markets.

Q: How do you match cities and individual solutions?
A: Last fall, we published a list of challenges from 21 cities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America. For the next three months our research team did nothing but look for possible solutions. We identified 3,500 technologies around the world. In the end, there were 109 nominated solutions.

Q: What are the top concerns cities had this year?
A: Mobility, health, safety, urban management, carbon emissions, education, and tourism are areas where cities are currently facing major challenges.

Q: The awards ceremony will reveal the winning solutions for each of the 21 cities—what happens next?
A: Those winners will be invited to pilot the solution in the individual city. Cities open up their infrastructure, data, and organizations, and act as a reference about the solution’s performance and impact. Cities everywhere then have access to these references.

Get more details and see the 2012 Living Labs Global Awards winners.

Learn more about Oracle’s solutions for smart cities.

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