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$100K up for grabs to demo your smart city idea

By Posted on July 12, 2017

Richard J. Mueller
Manager of Engineering Technology
DTE Energy


The world’s population living in urban areas is estimated to rise from 54 percent in 2014 to 66 percent by 2050. And as these populations grow, so will challenges related to safety, mobility, emissions, accessibility and congestion.

To prepare for the added stress on city infrastructure, DTE Energy, DENSO, NextEnergy, and Wells Fargo are partnering to host a global competition focused on accelerating connected, interactive and data-driven energy and mobility technologies to address unmet needs in urban areas.

Concept proposals for the second annual NextChallenge: Smart Cities are due on Aug. 18, 2017. If you’re considering applying, register for the webinar on July 27 to learn more about the challenge.

The winner of NextChallenge: Smart Cities will be awarded up to $80,000 in grant funding to demonstrate and validate their solution at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit. An additional combined total of $20,000 will be awarded to as many as four finalists.

Last year, Callida Energy beat out more than 50 innovators for the top prize in the inaugural challenge. Callida is working together with NextEnergy and DTE Energy to select a site to demonstrate the Callida Occupant App solution, which optimizes energy use in commercial buildings.

“The prize is allowing us to install our software in a commercial building site, do a baseline, make changes to how the building is operated, and develop a case study for how our solution delivered specific savings for the building,” said Raphael Carty, CEO of Callida Energy. “Before this challenge, we had a presence in New York and Houston. We saw opportunity in Detroit, but we weren’t known in the market. This competition put us on the map in the region.”

As a Detroit-based diversified energy company, DTE is involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. NextChallenge: Smart Cities is just one way DTE partners with technology companies to identify ways to manage resources most effectively and create smarter and more resilient cities of the future.

For more information about the challenge or to apply, visit


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