📣Smart Cities Datathon 2021 – Digital Solutions for Livable Cities – Deadline: May 31, 2021

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  • Country: ADB member countries
  • Financial coverage: Fully Funded
  • Eligible Regions: Asia, Europe, Pacific, ASEAN member countries, North America
  • Deadline: May 31, 2021
  • Apply: HERE

Cities around the world are still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery will most likely be much longer and more challenging than initially expected, with vaccines only covering parts of the population and new COVID-19 strains and other diseases emerging concurrently.

Consequently, many cities will have to develop new means of safeguarding citizens’ health and livelihoods in both the shorter- and longer-term, which takes into consideration the need for social distancing, online services, and protective measures for the most vulnerable groups.

Digitalization and online services have been crucial components in supporting healthcare systems and communication with citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digitalization, online and touchless services, etc. are expected to remain crucial components of future-proofed, resilient societies and help them to “build back smarter.” To be truly resilient and smart, cities need to ensure that the accessibility and inclusivity of solutions are given the highest priority.

Open-source data has proven to be considered valuable, particularly in the context of the pandemic and in light of the need to increase accessibility and transparency of data. Open-source data can be an important component for countries’ digital transformation to enhance their ability to respond to, recover from and transform in the wake of the current pandemic.


With this Smart Cities Datathon, ADB is challenging innovators (startups, students, research organizations and independent researchers, corporate partners) around the world to tackle the following problem statements:

– Access to urban services and amenities

How can we ensure that vulnerable groups get reliable access to urban services and amenities?

– Participation and influence in the decision-making process

How can we ensure that the voice of vulnerable groups will be heard and taken into consideration in policy discussions and decision-making?

– Improving financial access

How can cities digitally enhance their financial mechanisms to provide better support to vulnerable groups (i.e. loans, fintech smart payments, etc.)?
USD 20,000 will be awarded to the best solution!

This international seed funding aims to encourage submitters to ‘think global’ with their ideas/solutions with the objective of testing and scaling the solutions

Eligibility Criteria :

The challenge is open to the general public, startups, university students and faculty, research organizations, and independent Researchers from ADB member countries.

Teams should be composed of 1-5 persons.

ADB highly encouraged the diverse set of teams who have various skills and ideas to complete the challenge.

Rewards :

USD 20,000 will be awarded for the best solution.

Five finalist teams will be invited to pitch in front of skilled judges.

Participants will also receive mentorship from ADB experts.

Apply: HERE


Up to 5 finalist teams will be invited to pitch online in front of a panel of esteemed judges made of representatives from ADB, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Amazon Web Services, UN-Habitat, Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand, Ramboll, and the Bandung City Government.
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It assists its members and partners by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.

ADB, in partnership with member governments, independent specialists, and other financial institutions is focused on delivering projects in developing member countries that create economic and development impacts.

As a multilateral development finance institution, ADB provides:

  • Loans
  • Technical Assistance
  • Grants

ADB maximizes the development impact of its assistance by:

  • Facilitating policy dialogues
  • Providing advisory services
  • Mobilizing financial resources through co-financing operations that tap official, commercial
  • Export credit sources

As a response to COVID-19, ADB is supporting its developing members in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak through finance, knowledge, and partnerships.


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