Meet the finalists of the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge!

Earlier this year, Venture Smarter launched the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge to empower communities of all sizes to build better places to live, work, and visit. The challenge asked communities to begin thinking differently about how government can incorporate new technologies, policies, and strategies to optimize or altogether replace outdated systems and infrastructure.

The inaugural challenge received submissions from 69 regional teams proposing 89 projects across four tracks: Smart and Connected Development; Smarter, Safer Streets; Critical Infrastructure; and Next Generation Infrastructure. 

Of the applicants, 30 projects from 23 teams have qualified for the finals. Competing for more than $50 million in project financing and support, finalists will take center stage to deliver shark tank-style pitch presentations at the Smart Regions Conference taking place at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Columbus on October 25th and 26th.


  1. AZ Hyperloop Coalition - The Arizona Hyperloop Coalition is implementing a high-speed and sustainable transportation solution to improve efficiency in freight transport, reduce waste, boost economic activity through increased trade, and promote connected communities.

  2. 911-Go Smart Community Risk Reduction - Led by the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department (CCSDFD), 911-GO is a program focused on smart community risk reduction.  Safety and security are enhanced by leveraging current and near-term technological solutions to deliver public education, mixed-reality training for firefighters and augmented cyber-physical enabled emergency response mitigation.

  3. Colorado Springs Smart Team - In partnership with the local developers, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Downtown Partnership, and others, the City of Colorado Springs is working to transform Southwest Downtown into a technology-enabled smart district.

  4. Downtown Brooklyn - The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) intends to implement Numina’s platform application as an autonomous actuator network for waste management, infrastructure maintenance, economic development, and other use cases.

  5. FAU smartWISE Community Reinvestment Coalition of Oklahoma - A public-private partnership of the city of Fort Coffee, Oklahoma and Friends of the African Union USA Bureau, the FAU smartWISE Community Reinvestment Coalition of Oklahoma plans to leverage blockchain technology to create an initial currency offering (ICO) for African American Farmers and allies and clients using a cryptocurrency called the African Dollar.

  6. Great Smart Lake - Representing a coalition of key stakeholders across the Lake Erie Basin, Team Smart Lake is working on building next-generation infrastructure - composed of distributed sensors, networked telemetry, and advanced analytics - for our common water resource.

  7. Greater Cincinnati Regional Smart Campuses - A coalition of public and private partners in the Cincinnati region are working to create a scalable model for developing smart campuses and hope to expand regional smart educational networks nationwide.

  8. Greater Cincinnati Smart Mobility Consortium - The University of Cincinnati is partnering with community, government, and industry leaders to build Innovation Districts and foster a thriving 21st century ecosystem centered around smart and sustainable mobility solutions in greater Cincinnati.

  9. Greater Cincinnati Regional Smart Transportation - This project seeks to construct a sustainable, fast, green, affordable and flexible mobility system that serves the needs of people and businesses, including fast and inexpensive employment accessibility across the region, giving both residents and businesses the transportation access they need to succeed.

  10. Hampton Roads Regional Connectivity Ring - The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) envisions a Regional Connectivity Ring (RCR), which will be used to connect five Southside cities - Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake - to the transatlantic cable landings, as the foundation for smart region development and digitally-empowered communities. The Regional Connectivity Ring will serve as the catalyst for Smart City infrastructure throughout the region, and the Hampton Roads team has identified seven additional projects that are fully dependent on the ring including:

    1. Storm Sense and Resilience

    2. Hampton Roads Regional Connected Corridor

    3. Virginia Beach Entertainment Corridor

    4. Suffolk Northern Development Corridor

    5. Chesapeake Wireless Network Design Plan

    6. Norfolk Elizabeth River Bike Trail

    7. Portsmouth Unserved and Underserved Housing Developments

  11. Jersey City Moves - Jersey City Moves is a traffic signal optimization project that incorporates emerging intelligent transportation systems technology to existing infrastructure as a way to improve safety, reliability, and mobility in Jersey City.

  12. LoneStar of Texas - In collaboration with Public Entities and Texas Universities, Transonic seeks to implement an automated freight Hyperloop and this project will conduct an in-depth Feasibility Study and carry out R&D at the abandoned Desertron site in Ellis County, Texas.

  13. LVO Mobility Hub - Utilizing demand aggregation, this project seeks to transform an underserved communities’ traditional unimodal bus stop into a multimodal ‘Mobility Hub’ and further serve as a template for smart, efficient regional deployment.

  14. Midwest Connect - The Midwest Connect Corridor project is part of the Rapid-Speed Transportation Initiative (RSTI) to explore intercity routes that could utilize two rapid-speed transportation technology options - traditional passenger rail and/or Hyperloop technology - between Chicago, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.

  15. NYC Smart Stormwater Management - The New York Smart Stormwater Management Project seeks to reach 100% reduction of CSOs by creating a citywide systems approach around CSO-sheds and leveraging active citizen participation and innovative stormwater technologies.

  16. Outposts for Community Resilience - This project seeks to identify how to optimize the use of facilities and USPS’ core service platform to address community need and pair innovative facility reuse, integrated smart city technology and community resilience utilizing the City of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania as a laboratory for scaling solutions nationally.

  17. Portland, OR - The City of Portland and Numina are collaborating to detect and track multi-modal interactions through Portland’s central High-Crash Network, focusing on measuring and deriving key insights to inform infrastructural and policy-based safety interventions.

  18. SCTC Louisiana - This project will establish a Regional Smart Transportation Network within the State of Louisiana across the strategic corridor from Interstate 10 south to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and extend from the City of New Orleans to the western border.

  19. Silicon Harlem Tec Enabled Consortium - The Silicon Harlem Tech-Enabled Community (TEC) Consortium is on a mission to achieve successful broad-based dissemination of smart city applications and services in the historically underserved urban communities of Harlem and Upper Manhattan.

  20. Safer and Smarter Arizona Roadways Initiative (SSARI) - The Safer and Smarter Arizona Roadways Initiative aims to foster safer roadway navigation and interaction by supporting intelligent decision making using data derived from an infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication platform.

  21. Smart Communities Maine - A coalition of Maine municipalities, regional agencies, nonprofits, private companies, developers, and universities are converging around the need for a multi-organizational ‘Smart and Resilient Maine’ strategy to help inform smart infrastructure investments, public policy, and economic development partnerships.

  22. Triangle Area Water Supply Monitoring Project (TAWSMP) - Participating in the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge, the Triangle Area Water Supply Monitoring Project (TAWSMP) is a collaborative group with a well-established, regional network of streamflow gauges that provide critical, real-time information for water suppliers, planners, recreational users, and emergency response agencies.

  23. UT Beehive Team - Representing the State of Utah and Greater Salt Lake City Metropolitan area, the Beehive Team's project for the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge will focus on accelerating smarter decision-making through regional data-sharing and public communication.