Esri is teaming with Leica Geosystems to encourage innovation of mobile field data collection in government through grants totaling $143,250 in goods and services. Known as the Smart Communities Innovation Challenge, 10 governments that submit detailed project proposals demonstrating increased efficiencies in data collection for decision making or improved productivity in delivering services will be selected to receive a grant.

Project proposals will be accepted from Aug. 15 until the official submission deadline at 5 p.m. Pacific daylight time on Oct. 14. Grant recipients will be announced on Oct. 31.

To be entered for consideration, proposal submissions must be uploaded in conjunction with the organization's identifying information through a form on the Smart Communities Innovation Challenge landing page.

So long as operations are based in the U.S., any government or department, whether municipal, regional, special districts, state, city, county, or otherwise, is qualified to receive a grant.

To be selected, a project must confirm the value of combining GIS and global positioning system (GPS) technologies for data collection, optimizing workloads, and providing real-time information that supports field mobility. Proposal reviewers will look for ideas that support complete workflows extended to back-office processes such as operational dashboards. Priority will be given to projects that tie GIS and GPS to daily workloads, influence sharing of geographically enabled data across multiple jurisdictions or interdepartmental ventures, and clearly convey a perceived benefit or return on investment.

The intent of the joint program is to supply governments with the tools to succeed as they implement progressive methods to streamline workflows. By providing technology, training and technical support grants, Esri and Leica aim to inspire legislative bodies to devise transformational approaches to improving the efficiency of mobile fieldworkers.

As innovative ideas from the government community are brought forward for solving real-world problems, the best applications will be those of universal appeal and the ability to be shared between governments through an open exchange hub. The challenge's grant winners will be thought-leading governments that have plans in place to jump-start projects such as facility inspections, emergency reporting, asset inventory, environmental management and monitoring, efficient employee routing, code enforcement, population and housing enumeration, mosquito abatement, and/or sign inventory.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has provided customers worldwide tools to think and plan geographically. A market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations including each of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications run on more than 1 million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers. Esri provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server and Internet platforms.

About Leica Geosystems

With close to 200 years of experience pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services help customers worldwide capture, analyze and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.