A new challenge has been launched by the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum to find innovative solutions for greener European cities using the Internet of Things (IoT) and other IT innovations.

The ‘IoT for Greener Cities’ competition hopes to find and develop cutting-edge technologies which could be introduced in homes, buildings and cities to reduce CO2 emissions and improve local air quality.

The competition is open to any small team with an idea that they think can be scaled up to help decarbonise and improve cities’ environmental footprint. After a voting stage, up to 15 finalists will receive six weeks of mentoring from experts to overcome technical or business related challenges. The finalists will then have the opportunity to present their idea to a jury of experts from a range of European companies and public stakeholders, including the European Union and the World Economic Forum, with the winning team in each category receiving six months of further technical support, visibility within the partners networks and €10,000 worth of prizes.

The competition follows the success of the first ‘Decarbonathon’ competition that saw 230 teams from all over the world compete in the wake of the Paris climate change negotiations, COP 21, to find promising new ways of reducing CO2 emissions. The winners received significant support to help scale up their innovation.

The new ‘IoT for Greener Cities’ challenge is looking for innovations that particularly make use of interconnected smart devices to better understand and tackle challenges such as climate change. There are three categories to the competition: smart solutions for households, smart solutions for energy-efficient buildings, and sustainable mobility in an urban environment.

Other facilitators of the competition include ENGIE, the Centre for Carbon Measurement of the UK National Physical Laboratory, Climate-KIC, and Energy Ville - a European Research centre focusing on energy-efficient buildings and intelligent networks for a sustainable urban environment.

Online registration closes on 22 March 2017. The shortlist of the best 15 will be published on 4 April 2017 and finalists will take part in a two-day event in Brussels on 15-16 May, when they will present their pitches to the jury and the winners will be announced.