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City of Munich launches innovation challenge

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    Who will come up with the best idea?

    The City of Munich runs an annual innovation challenge focused on topics in the field of smart cities. Students, entrepreneurs and all players involved in the startup community are called on to submit sustainable, innovative proposals for solutions to the specified municipal challenges.

    The most convincing solutions will win the innovation award and will be further developed and tested in practice in collaboration with Munich’s city administration and UnternehmerTUM (the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at TUM).

    The application deadline for 2019 has expired. The next innovation challenge will take place in 2020. New topics will be announced in spring 2020. Would you like to be notified as soon as the new call for applications is launched? Then please leave your contact details here via email.

    Competition + innovation award

    This competition opens up Munich's public administration to innovation. It provides an opportunity to try out and implement new ways of doing things at the municipal level. We are looking for innovative solution proposals and concepts relating to the challenges specified by Munich's local government.

    In each of four categories, the idea that is judged to have the greatest potential for implementation will win the innovation award. Furthermore prize winners will have the chance to implement the concept they submitted within a municipal test field, develop it further and test it in practice. UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), will provide support and coaching, walking prize winners through the incubation program XPRENEURS.

    The participants who submit the best solution concepts for each challenge will be invited to present their idea to the jury.

    The jury will then select the most promising solution in each category. At an evening ceremony Mayor Pretzl will present these entries with the innovation award. Once the implementation phase has been completed, the winners will receive additional prize money.

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    Who should apply?

    The competition targets entrepreneurs, startups and students who concern themselves with innovative solutions. Anyone who wants to try out their ideas in practice is welcome to apply.

    Deadline for submissions and procedure

    The challenge consists of two phases: the competition phase and the implementation phase.

    Competition phase: This year's competition began with the announcement of the new challenges. Applicants could then submit their solution concepts until a certain deadline (to be announced for 2020). The finalists were selected subsequently and invited to present their ideas to the jury. At the awards ceremony on the same evening, the winners in each category will be announced.

    Applications can be submitted in German or English. Pitches for the jury must be made in German, and German will be the working language during the implementation phase.

    Implementation phase: The co-creation phase in the test field runs during the fall of the competition year, accompanied by startup coaching from UnternehmerTUM. This phase will be used to implement and test the winning concepts.

    The competition ends with a closing event in December, where the winning projects will present their results from the test field.

    Topics addressed in 2019

    The City of Munich this year invited solution ideas and concepts for the four following challenges:

    Waste avoidance at Munich's schools

    How can we increase awareness of and motivation to participate in the topics of waste avoidance and waste separation at Munich's schools?

    Entries should feature fun elements, but should also raise awareness of waste avoidance and waste separation among schoolchildren and the entire school community, as well as creating incentives to take action. Digital and/or analogue means can be used.

    Weekly digital market – Penetrating new target groups

    How can a new weekly market culture with a focus on high-quality foods from the local region be revived in the digital age?

    Our aim is to create a weekly digital market to penetrate new target groups (online buyers) and supply food to groups of individuals who cannot get to weekly or farmer's markets (e.g. working people, the sick and/or the elderly). Logistical requirements (a web shop, order picking, storage etc.) as well as the requirements of food law (hygiene, separate storage, cooling, certifications etc.) must be specified in detail in cooperation with the market community. The practice of picking up ordered goods from the market and delivering them to end consumers should be aligned with sustainable forms of urban mobility.

    Self-generating calendar of cultural events in urban districts

    How can the City of Munich pool information about all kinds of events that has already been published in a way that lets residents access a comprehensive, clearly-structured, constantly updated overview of cultural events based in local urban districts?

    The Department of Arts and Culture subsidizes some 30 cultural facilities, plus a large number of individual projects across the city's various districts. In mostly civic players publish their offerings in a variety of ways on the web. To provide local residents with a conveniently pooled, user-oriented and constantly updated overview, we are looking for a solution to create a self-generating calendar of cultural events in urban districts – a solution that will require no further data entry and that should be accessible via Munich's SmartCity app.

    Making use of crowdsourcing – Working together to collect data for the city

    Our aim is to ensure that Munich stays livable, innovative and digital in the future. Data and information about current issues in the city are fundamental to this objective. As an urban society, we want to master the challenges and assignments we face more quickly and more efficiently. Therefore, we are looking for an easy-to-use, fun mobile solution that enables local residents to collect data for local government securely, transparently and in full compliance with data protection/privacy legislation.

    What are the benefits of taking part?

    • Winning the innovation award leads to implementation in a real-world test field. If you win the award, you gain access to the city administration and to the information and data you need to further develop and realize your solution ideas. Take advantage of a powerful network comprising local government, startup support and the backing of UnternehmerTUM within the framework of the competition. Reap the benefits of coaching and knowledge sharing with a wide variety of experts. Fresh insights and a steep learning curve are guaranteed!
    • The press will attend the awards ceremony, presided over by Mayor Pretzl, the competition's patron. That will give the finalists an excellent opportunity to showcase their capabilities and draw attention to their company.
    • After the implementation phase, the prize winners will be able to boast a reference project with one of the largest municipalities in Germany which they can use for their own advertising.
    • UnternehmerTUM offers the prize winners to participate directly in the incubation program XPRENEURS.
    • Last but not least, the competition allows the winning teams to implement their ideas and make a positive contribution to making Munich a more innovative and progressive city.

    Any questions? Then ask them!

    General questions about the competition and the accompanying coaching:

    Frieke Meijer-Schepman, Department of Labor and Economic Development
    frieke.meijer-schepman@muenchen.de, phone +49 (0)89 233-25461 

    Landeshauptstadt München

    Referat für Arbeit und Wirtschaft
    Grundlagen der Wirtschaftspolitik

    Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße 15
    80331 München