AWS Cloud Innovation Challenge: What You Need to Know

Do you see your city, school or district as technologically innovative? Do you think the forward-thinkers there should be acknowledged for the work they do?

If yes, here’s a contest you should know about: Amazon Web Service’s City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge 2018.

As part of the Challenge, AWS awards local and regional governments, private and public schools and districts of all sizes for their work in several key categories. Those include “Best Practices,” “Partners In Innovation” and “Dream Big.” And this year, AWS will add a fourth category: “We Power Tech,” for organizations that primarily serve underrepresented groups.

Winners will receive AWS promotional credits to start or continue their projects. Large cities, schools and districts that win will earn $50,000 in AWS promotional credits, which can be applied to AWS account balances. Small or medium cities, school and districts earn $25,000 in credits.

Entries opened March 15 and close May 11. Entrants must be 18 years old or of legal age in their jurisdiction of residence. The contest is open to all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C, as well as a number of other countries that can be found on the AWS website. Entrants must have an AWS account at the time of entry.

AWS helps public entities simplify their IT workloads, such as geographical information systems, content management systems and open data portals, by enabling these applications to run on a streamlined cloud service. This can make it easier for governments and schools to deliver services to their citizens and students.

To enter the AWS contest, visit the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge 2018 web page. For the “Best Practices” and “Dream Big” categories, entrants will be asked to choose one of four population sizes, as follows:

For Government Entities

  • Large government = more than 250,000 citizens
  • Small/medium government = 250,000 citizens or fewer

For Educational Entities

  • Large educational entity = more than 35,000 students
  • Small/medium educational entity = 35,000 students or fewer

The first round of judging will take place in May. For “Best Practices” and “Dream Big,” the AWS judging panel will select five finalists in each population category. For “Partners In Innovation,” the panel will select 15, and two for “We Power Tech.” AWS reserves the right to select fewer finalists if it does not receive enough qualified entrants.

In late May, potential finalists will be notified, and given they comply with response deadlines, they’ll be announced on the contest website in early June. At the time of notification, these finalists will be in the process of review by an expert judging panel, and AWS will announce the overall winners in mid-June.

To apply to this year’s Challenge, visit the AWS page for it.

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