Mayor's Innovation Challenge - About

Mayor's Innovation Challenge - About

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About the Challenge

For information on the 2020 challenge, please visit the Mayor's Innovation Challenge website

What is the Mayor's Innovation Challenge?

Kingston faces a series of complex challenges as we work toward our vision of becoming a smart, livable, 21st century city and is seeking solutions from student innovators. The Mayor's Innovation Challenge is a competition calling on teams of students from Kingston's major post-secondary institutions to develop innovative proposals to address an identified challenge faced by the City of Kingston. The City, in partnership with Queen's University, St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College, has the honour of continuing to host this collaborative problem-solving platform and experiential learning opportunity for its second year.

This year's competition will include two separate challenge streams, each with a coveted prize. Current and recently graduated post-secondary students are eligible to submit proposals addressing one of four challenges outlined below:

Dunin-Deshpande Smart Cities Stream

  • Smart Cities Challenge

Public Sector Innovation Stream

  • Engaging Residents in Long-Term Care
  • Revitalizing Public Spaces
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions

The creators of the top submissions, selected by the Mayor and senior staff, will be invited to present their proposals at the Mayor's Innovation Challenge Pitch event on Friday, February 8.

The winning team of the Dunin-Deshpande Smart Cities Stream will receive a four-month paid internship with the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre. As part of this experience, they will be granted $4,000 in seed capital for their idea, along with access to the Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI 2019) program to accelerate their innovation.

Winners from of the Public Sector Innovation Stream will receive a four-month paid internship with a municipal department with the City of Kingston. The winning team will be awarded an operating budget of $10,000 to implement their idea, and gain access to a full slate of resources and mentorship from City staff. The winning team will also be exposed to a variety of other projects underway at the City, and an opportunity to build skills and gain invaluable government experience, applicable in any career.

Why should I participate?

The Mayor's Innovation Challenge provides a unique opportunity for you, as a current or recently graduated post-secondary student, to apply your knowledge to real-world issues and help shape the future of Kingston. The winning team members gain an invaluable opportunity to launch their careers by tackling an issue they're passionate about, while working alongside municipal and academic leaders.

How do I participate?

Teams may have a maximum of three students, at least 50 per cent of whom are currently enrolled in one of Kingston's post-secondary institutions. Teams will submit a single proposal outlining their innovative idea in one of four challenge categories. Proposals from all academic disciplines are welcome and multi-disciplinary proposals are encouraged. At least one member from each team must attend a workshop in order to qualify to submit an application. Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Find out more about the Mayor's Innovation Challenge and the four challenge categories. Learn more about submitting a proposal.


What are the deadlines for the challenge?

  • Round 1: attend a workshop on Tuesday Nov. 13 or Wednesday Nov. 14.
  • Round 2: submit a proposal by Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Round 3: shortlist invited to pitch competition, notification sent by Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019.
  • Round 4: pitch competition Friday Feb. 8, 2019.

Project News

Asset Publisher

After pitching innovative ideas to address challenges faced by the City of Kingston, three teams of post-secondary students were named winners of th ...
When: 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 Where:Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 Ontario St. Who: Nine teams of post-secondary students, Mayor ...
This year's QHacks event – a student-led weekend-long hackathon at Queen's University – is taking on the Mayor's Innovation Challenge. This year's ...
Attention all Queen's University, Royal Military College and St. Lawrence students: if you have an exciting and innovative idea for Kingston, pitch ...
June 3 to 9 is Cycling Week in Kingston and the winners of the City's Mayor's Innovation Challenge are supporting efforts to celebrate this active f ...