A NSW Government website

Smart City Innovation Challenges

Challenge 1 – Circular Economy

Our first ever Smart City Innovation Challenge is underway.

We are seeking new technology and data solutions to address this challenge:

How might we generate, model and access precinct-level material usage, reuse, recycling and disposal data to support circular economy initiatives?

Applications for this Smart City Innovation Challenge are now closed.

Register your interest to stay up to date with future opportunities to participate in our challenges.

Register your interest

About the Circular Economy Challenge

A circular economy is about valuing and adding value to our resources by getting as much use out of products and materials as possible and reducing how much waste we generate. This includes using recycled materials in manufacturing, repairing household goods before buying new ones, and repurposing items that are no longer used.

We are looking for innovative solutions to help us plan and deliver circular economy initiatives in NSW.
We need comprehensive and accessible data insights so we can:
  • measure, benchmark and track material usage, recycling and disposal across industries
  • visualise the impacts and benefits of circular economy interventions across the entire product lifecycle
  • identify and quantify opportunities across the material lifecycle
  • help investors, businesses, utilities and governments identify circular economy opportunities
  • evaluate the impact of past and current initiatives.

The data needs to be longitudinal, available in real-time, relevant to the Australian context.

Applicants will be applying the challenge statement to activity in a specific precinct, choosing between:

More detailed information on the challenge can be found in the Circular Economy challenge brief.

Circular Economy Challenge brief


How does the Innovation Challenge run?

The Smart City Innovation Challenge has three phases. Each phase is competitive, and not all applicants will proceed through each phase.
April – June 2022: phase 1 – pitchfest

Applications outlining a proposed solution to the challenge will be assessed against clear criteria. The judging panel selects up to 10 applicants to present their proposed solution at a Pitchfest event scheduled to take place in early June.

July – September 2022: phase 2 – feasibility study

The pitches are assessed, with up to 3 successful applicants entering into funding agreements for up to $50,000 to conduct a feasibility study over two months in partnership with the NSW Government.

September 2022: phase 3 – proof of concept

Feasibility studies are assessed, with the potential for 1 applicant to enter into a contract for up to $1 million to develop the concept further i.e. proof of concept or trial, for up to 12 months.

Further information about the challenge process, including eligibility and assessment criteria can be found in the Smart City Innovation Challenges guidelines (PDF, 1.1 MB).

For more information

If you need further information, please email us on smartplaces@planning.nsw.gov.au.