GE Lighting Leads National Hunt for Next Generation of Smart City Innovators

With the aim of fostering innovation and developing the next generation of technology talent, GE Lighting has become the founding sponsor of a unique new urban regeneration initiative: the Intelligent Community Challenge.

Centred around a design competition, the initiative will look to crowd source new perspectives and fresh ideas on key urban challenges such as public safety, crime, social inclusion, traffic and pollution, by uniting local councils, communities and university students to develop intelligent and innovative LED solutions to these issues.

Participating councils have submitted briefs detailing a challenge within their authority that needs regeneration and student groups from across the UK are invited to develop proposals that solve these problems, using intelligent LED lighting solutions as the mechanism.

Backed by Urban Design London, the challenge provides an opportunity for local authorities to tap into a bank of knowledge and fresh inspiration, by working with promising design, architecture and engineering students to develop ideas for forward thinking cities of the future. For students, it offers valuable experience of working with industry and communities, allowing them to network and collaborate in a real world environment.

Armin Meyer, Marketing Manager for GE Lighting EMEA, commented: “Nurturing talent and innovation is a key focus for us and this design challenge is a tangible way to connect with the next generation of innovators, as well as strengthening our collaborations with local authorities – allowing us to gain a much more in-depth understanding of their key issues and challenges, so that we can develop solutions that truly meet their needs.

“The connected possibilities that LEDs offer have opened up a wealth of opportunities for urban regeneration that would have been unimaginable only a few short years ago. Today's bright young students are the product of this digital world, so we're hoping they will be able to bring unique perspectives to these age-old social challenges – leveraging the power of digital light connectivity through LEDs, sensors, controls and other technologies combined with data, analytics, software, smart phones and beyond.”

The winning team, which will be selected by an independent panel of judges at the end of November, will be offered a 10-day global learning tour of GE facilities, including GE Lighting's new Software Centre of Excellence in San Ramon, California. In addition, if any of the councils decide to implement the project ideas developed during the competition, GE Lighting will donate technology worth up to $5,000 (converted to the GBP equivalent at the time of project implementation) for up to four projects.

To date, 15 councils and 15 universities across the UK have elected to participate in the Intelligent Community Challenge, with more partners and sponsors joining daily. The initiative will launch formally on 3 October 2015 at a live urban design ‘hackathon' at Ravensbourne in London, streamed to other UK locations.

For more information about the challenge and to view the council briefs already available, go to

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