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Prosperity Project's Open Innovation Challenge - 10 Finalists Announced!


Information Release

10 Local Innovators to Compete for Cash

69 open innovation challenge pitch project submissions received - 

Three $15,000 prizes up for grabs!

--- February 6, 2018 ---

Victoria – The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) Open Innovation Challenge received an impressive number of quality submissions in a landmark opportunity to create ‘smart’ solutions for economic growth challenges and opportunities. These ideas can make the South Island a smarter, more liveable and sustainable place and are part of Smart South Island – a region-wide collaboration of stakeholders and local governments.

“We were very impressed with the number and quality of submissions. It’s gratifying to see so many people in our region interested in making this a better place to live”, said Emilie de Rosenroll, Chief Executive Officer of SIPP, “We view this as an ideal way to engage our community in ways to solve the challenges we face as a region. It aligns with our mission to facilitate and promote the development of a strong and diverse economy on South Vancouver Island”. 

SIPP is leading the South Island region’s participation in the Canadian Smart Cities competition, competing for $10 million in Federal funding. These Innovation Challenge submissions represent a deep understanding of our future sustainable prosperity. They will contribute to creating innovation within the Smart South Island key priority areas of: Transportation and Mobility, Housing and Affordability, Human Health, Environmental Heath, and Economic Resilience and Inclusion.

An adjudication committee, headed up by Jamie VanDenbossche, Associate Director of Camosun Innovates, selected 10 finalists from the 69 submissions. Those are listed below. The finalists will present their concepts at a free public event on March 11th at the University of Victoria, where three winners will receive $15,000 to support their plan.

The public is encouraged to attend the Smart South Island Innovation Challenge event at Flury Hall, in the Bob Wright Building at the University of Victoria on Sunday, March 11th, 2:00pm. The event is free to the public, and attendees will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite presentations. More information is available at

SIPP and the SIPP Smart South Island steering committee thank all Open Innovation Challenge partners for volunteering their time, promoting the challenge, and communicating and encouraging submissions.

About South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) 

SIPP is the regional economic development organization for Greater Victoria Metropolitan Area of B.C. As a public/private alliance, SIPP is comprised of 40 members, including ten local governments, five First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, two non-profits, five industry and sector associations, and 15 private businesses. These partners and lead investors are working together to bolster the region’s economic and social prosperity by catalyzing the creation of high-quality, household-sustaining jobs for the purpose of enabling families the opportunity to live, work and build a life here.

Project finalists

Congratulations to our 10 Finalists (in no particular order):

·       Victoria Carpool Program

·       Harvesting Abundance in the Urban Orchard

·       LAVA: Leisure Access Victoria App

·       South Island Food Processing and Distribution Facility

·       Green City Initiative: Leveraging Analytics to Drive a Green City

·       HomePod – Personal Mobile Homeless Shelter

·       The AIM Project – Providing Equality in Access for All

·       ElderConnect Wellness Navigation System

·       Nal-Pal: Notification for Naloxone Volunteers

·       CABOOST – an ‘out-of-the-bike’ innovation

Quotes from Select Finalists:

Matthew Kemshaw

Harvesting Abundance in the Urban Orchard

“Working with the LifeCycles Project Society, we saw a unique opportunity to bring food to a larger table. This kind of opportunity helps to start a larger discussion about innovation within the city and provide sustainable solutions for our region.

With the support of the South Island Prosperity Project, we’re excited to have broad dialogues with other stakeholder groups to make this a more livable city.”

Diane Gutiw

Green City Initiative: Leveraging Analytics to Drive a Green City

“We took existing data and created new algorithms to help our communities go paperless, find new cost savings as well as focussing on the environment.  

Being a finalist in the Open Innovation Challenge and working with SIPP provides a great opportunity for all of the great, young, local professionals on our team to pass on their knowledge, expertise and passion for the community.”

Ty James

South Island Food Processing and Distribution Facility

“We’re focussing on innovation to bring fresh local fruits and vegetables to our tables. It’s a challenge as our local farmers are facing competition from off the Island, nationally and internationally, leading to very serious issues of sustainability. 

The Open Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for us present smarter more sustainable solutions relating to climate, environment and sustainability.”