Students Compete to Win the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge

Published on: 2019/02/06 - in News

Mayor's Innovation Challenge

Nine teams of post-secondary students will be pitching solutions to set challenges this Friday as they compete in the 2019 Mayor’s Innovation Challenge.

UPDATE: The winners have been chosen and announced:

After pitching innovative ideas to address challenges faced by the City of Kingston, three teams of post-secondary students were named winners of the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge.  Each winning team has been awarded four-month paid summer internships to implement their ideas.

“The calibre of the pitches we saw this year was incredible, and it made the decision for our judges incredibly difficult. Now we’re really looking forward to seeing the winning ideas come to life through the internships awarded,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “We have so much talent in our community and this challenge is an opportunity to harness this talent while supporting and launching the careers of young people in Kingston.”

FractalKompute: Virtual Public Art, a proposal for an interactive public art installation combining photos and art from the Kingston area into a collaborative digital work, was named the winner of the City of Kingston internship. Team members Dylan Brookes, Aawista Chaudhry and Ryan Rossiter will implement their project with a $10,000 budget and support from City staff.

Another two teams won the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative internship sponsored by the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. K-Connect, composed of team members Raed Fayad, Samuel Alton, Nathaniel Pauzé and Xavier McMaster-Hubner, presented a proposal focusing on a 3D solution to crowd source broadband cellular coverage across the city. Blackrose Technology: Smart Drones, composed of team members Erik Koning and Sadaf Usmani, proposed installing infrastructure in cities that will enable drones to fly and scan anything from oil spills from vessels in Lake Ontario, to assisting with search and rescue operations. The winning teams will receive stipends per team member for the summer and $4,000 in seed capital for their ideas.

The Mayor’s Innovation Challenge was made possible through partnership and collaboration with Bell Canada and the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative.

The event takes place at City Hall on February 8 with the pitches being judged by Mayor Bryan Paterson, acting CAO Lanie Hurdle, and other community leaders.

A catered reception in Memorial Hall will follow the competition and the winning team will be announced between 12:15pm and 1:15pm.

This year the student teams were tasked with submitting proposals to address one these challenges in two streams:

  • The Dunin-Deshpande Smart Cities Stream challenged students to use the City’s open data portal, Open Data Kingston, to develop innovations to enhance the delivery of municipal services.
  • The Public Sector Innovation Stream challenged students to take on one of three specific challenges: engaging residents in long-term care, revitalizing public spaces and reducing carbon emissions.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Innovation Challenge at

Image source: City of Kingston
[updated Feb.7 with Mayor’s tweet]