Economic Development Greater Saint John announces recipients of $25,000 Smart and Connected Innovation Challenge
Three winning proposals selected to build exportable solutions to business problems that leverage data and connected technology
Economic Development Greater Saint John is pleased to announce three companies that have been selected as winners of its second Smart and Connected Innovation Challenge. They will each receive a $25,000 contribution to build an exportable solution the leverages data and connected technology.
As part of the Smart and Connected Innovation Challenge, Intelisys Aviation, Botrow Technologies and UStation each identified a business problem and related solution. The contribution from EDGSJ will support their teams in building proof-of-concept projects to test these solutions with customers.
During the proof-of-concept phase, Botrow Technologies will partner with Uptown Saint John to convert its Uptown Dollars program from a paper currency into an electronic platform. By moving to a digital currency, Uptown Saint John and participating businesses will be able to collect basic demographics on individuals purchasing Uptown Dollars and lessen their administrative burden. Being able to incentivize people to shop in business improvement areas through a promotion like Uptown Dollars is common in other cities, but doing it using a digital currency is not. Once the solution has been tested in Saint John, Botrow Technologies and its marketing partner, Uptown Saint John, will be able to sell the product to other communities.
UStation’s proof-of-concept project is a response to the growing population of remote and mobile professionals that are location-independent in their work and require private, technology-enabled options to conduct business when in public or open spaces. UStation is developing a monitored, managed workstation (a ‘pod’) that can support the work needs of mobile professionals both inside and around the workstation in a public space. Usage patterns of mobile users will help inform the evolution and marketing of this type of solution.
The Innovation Challenge was first announced in the spring of 2018 to spur innovation and economic growth using the Smart & Connected Data Project as the catalyst. The Smart & Connected Data Project is a 3-year initiative designed to support companies and organizations in harnessing the power of data and connected technology to drive business value and solve industry and community challenges.
“As the regional economic development agency, we know innovation will create new opportunities for our companies to grow,” says Ron Gaudet, CEO of Economic Development Greater Saint John. “EDGSJ is pleased to invest in companies developing solutions that can be built and exported right here from Saint John.”
All Innovation Challenge winners will develop and implement proof-of-concept projects over the next 6 months to demonstrate the value of their innovation. Following the first phase of development, the companies will continue to build their products and services with the intention of commercializing and selling them in other markets.
More information on the Innovation Challenge projects can be found at www.smartandconnected.ca/projects