Applications open for Joburg Smart City Innovation Challenge


The City of Johannesburg’s Smart City Office, in collaboration with Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, has opened applications for the Smart City Innovation Challenge, seeking smart city solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown protocols have ignited new thinking about the future of Johannesburg and its residents, with the Smart City Innovation Challenge aiming to find and develop digital technology solutions that respond to urban and community challenges faced by the city in the “new normal”.

It is seeking 4IR startups that have been in operation for between three and seven years and are developing Smart City technologies or innovative solutions. Solutions should accelerate service delivery, improve the liveability and safety of the city and enhance operational efficiencies:

Three winning applications will be taken into a rapid development phase and supported by Tshimologong’s virtual bootcamp. They will also receive a prototyping grant of ZAR500,000 (US$34,000) each. The award will be followed by the opportunity to take solutions into a pilot phase within the city.

“This innovation call is an opportunity for innovators of our city to bring forward their innovative solutions to help our city respond in a smarter way to challenges posed by COVID-19. We also hope to use this initiative to help to grow innovation in Joburg and thus make Joburg the Leading African City of Innovation,” said Lawrence Boya, the Smart City Office leader.

Those seeking details on how to apply should go here and go to Campaigns – Youth Enterprises Info – Smart City Innovation Challenge.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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