Entries down in second year of Foxconn’s Smart Cities contest

Foxconn smart cities
Alan Yeung, center, with Brian Thompson of the UWM Research Foundation and UWM Chancellor Mark Mone.

Foxconn Technology Group has narrowed its second annual Smart Cities – Smart Futures contest to 25 finalists who will each receive $500 from the company.

The company said it received a total of 71 submissions from 20 different higher education institutions around Wisconsin. The number of entries was down dramatically from last year when Foxconn drew 325 entries for the contest.

Contestants were required to submit a 300 to 600 word essay and two minute video to describe their entry.

Foxconn committed $1 million in cash and prizes over three years for the Smart Cities contest starting in 2018. The contest is intended to provide funding and resources to students, faculty and staff to help them pursue innovative ideas in select areas.

This year Foxconn has put an emphasis on manufacturing and opened up new categories in argi-tech, health care, safety, mobility and energy sustainability. The competition also includes a data challenge that allows contestants to use advanced manufacturing data to develop predictive analytic solutions.

“Wisconsin continues to be a priority for us at Foxconn, and we want to play our part in realizing the vision of making Wisconsin the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. Part of that includes tapping into potential of the students – the future of Wisconsin – and harnessing their ideas to create an impact in their community,” said Alan Yeung, Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives, Foxconn Technology Group.

The company did not publicly identify the 25 finalists it selected. Submissions for the second round of the contest will be due by Dec. 7.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.