Are you ready to unleash your most innovative ideas to help solve Greater Victoria’s real-world challenges and have the chance to win $15,000 in prize money?

On November 25, the South Island Prosperity Project brought together residents, local leaders, First Nations, entrepreneurs and investors for a Smart South Island Symposium public engagement event to think about how we can work together to become a smarter region by pairing digital technology and data together to create ‘smart’ solutions that will solve our region’s top challenges.

The Smart South Island Symposium helped highlight our region’s top challenges, and assisted us in defining the key priorities to focus on for our Open Innovation Challenge – a challenge competition inviting the public to submit pilot project ideas that will make the South Island a smarter, more liveable, and more sustainable place. The challenge in underway and final winners will be voted on March 11, 2018, at a free, live audience event, the Open Innovation Symposium. 

Challenge Highlights

  • The Open Innovation Challenge is free to enter
  • There are two rounds with an initial 2-page proposal due January 28th
  • The top 10 finalists will be invited to go on to the second round and pitch their pilot project ideas in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges on March 11, 2018
  • There are three $15,000 prizes up for grabs
  • Pitches must demonstrate a deep understanding of how the proposed pilot project will contribute to solving one of the South Island’s Five Key Challenge Themes
  • Teams must include at least one Greater Victoria partner

Five Key challenge themes

The Open Innovation Challenge is focused on Five Key Challenge Themes that we want to address by using ‘smart’ solutions (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Economic Resiliency & Inclusion
  • Environmental Health
  • Housing & Affordability
  • Human Health
  • Transportation & Mobility

Potential Focus Areas

Potential focus areas may include:

  • Smart Transportation & Mobility
  • Smart Health
  • Smart Environment
  • Smart Homes & Buildings
  • Smart Economy
  • Smart Logistics & Manufacturing
  • Smart People & Living
  • Smart Governance, Security & Administration
  • Smart Integrated Grids
  • Internet of Things
  • Open Data


December 1: Open Innovation Challenge Kick-Off

December 15: Information Session (VIATEC, 777 Fort Street, Shaw Conference Room, 11:00 am-12:00 pm)

January 17: Information Session – Royal Roads University, LIC Centre for Dialogue, 1-2 pm) 

January 18: Information Session – (University of Victoria, Sedgewick Building Room A142, 5-6 pm)

January 20: Smart Cities Open House – Hillside Mall, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

January 23: Open Innovation Challenge Information Session – Alacrity Foundation, 4-5 pm

January 28: Two-page pitch submissions due (Midnight PST)

January 29 – Feb 2: Independent committee adjudicates submissions and short-lists

February 5: Top 10 project teams requested to submit a more detailed proposal and pitch their ideas live at Symposium 2 on March 11, 2018

March 5: Detailed proposals due by 10 finalists (details will be announced in January)

March 11: Open Innovation Symposium

Adjudication Committee Members

  • Tim Walzak – Director, Camosun Initiatives
  • Jamie VanDenbossche – Associate Director, Camosun Innovates
  • Sean McConkey – Manager, Technology Access Center
  •  Rich Burman – Faculty Lead, Camosun Innovates
  • Imtehaze Heerah – Mechanical Engineering Instructor
  • Corrine Michel – Applied Learning Coordinator

For details about the Open Innovation Challenge, including the application process and our evaluation criteria, please download our information package here.

Innovation Challenge proposals and pitches should be sent by email to 

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