$1m in prizes for smart city ideas

What will cities of the future look like? How will urban dwellers see a doctor and get medicine, move from one place to another, or buy their daily necessities?

University students with innovative proposals to address the opportunities and challenges of future cities can submit them to an ongoing global competition and stand a chance to win up to $1 million in cash, investments and prizes in kind to bring their ideas to fruition.

More than 500 teams from around the world are expected to participate in this year's Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition, organised by Singapore Management University (SMU) and supported by The Straits Times.

The biennial contest, now in its ninth edition, has "smart city" as its theme to align with Singapore's ambition to become the world's first smart nation. Submissions must fall into one of four categories: mobility, healthcare, living and services.

SMU has reached out to more than 2,000 universities worldwide to join the contest. Shortlisted teams will be flown to Singapore in September to participate in start-up workshops, meet entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in Asia and have direct access to mentors here.

The competition "offers a valuable platform for young entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to put their ideas into practice", said SMU president Arnoud De Meyer. "We may well see the next industry-disrupting, paradigm-shifting innovation at this year's competition."

Past winning ideas include Blitab, a Braille tablet that can be used by people with visual disability. It was created by a team from the University of Applied Sciences in Austria.

More information about the competition can be found online at The deadline for submissions is June 16.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline '$1m in prizes for smart city ideas'. Print Edition | Subscribe