Improving Public Safety Through Innovation

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  • Led by Lee Davenport and Jigyasa Sharma
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  • Funded by Purdue Research Foundation

Every fall the population of West Lafayette, Indiana, nearly doubles when the students return to Purdue University. Additional traffic during football games, concerts, and festivals, creates public safety risks for pedestrians and smaller vehicles. To address this issue, the Innovation Partners Institute (IPI) at the Purdue Research Foundation teamed up with the City of West Lafayette, the Indiana 5G Zone, and US Ignite to launch the West Lafayette (WL) Smart City Challenge. The competition seeks innovative solutions that improve public safety at Discovery Park.

Project Overview & Summary

Every fall the population of West Lafayette, Indiana, nearly doubles when the students return to Purdue University. Additional traffic during football games, concerts, and festivals, creates public safety risks for pedestrians and smaller vehicles. To address this issue, the Innovation Partners Institute (IPI) at the Purdue Research Foundation teamed up with the City of West Lafayette, the Indiana 5G Zone, and US Ignite to launch the West Lafayette (WL) Smart City Challenge. The competition seeks innovative solutions that improve public safety at Discovery Park District.

The WL Smart City challenge asks participants to develop a scalable IoT (Internet-of-Things) solution and/or software application to improve safety for vulnerable road users who navigate high-traffic corridors and intersections during major seasonal events.

The competition seeks to leverage the Discovery Park District’s lab-to-life innovation platform to develop, test and pilot the latest inventions in communications, transportation, public safety to benefit the Discovery Park District and the City of West Lafayette.

Inventors and entrepreneurs from around the country will submit proposals via an online application by December 3, 2021. Up to three teams will be awarded $5,000 each to develop a prototype. The finalists will obtain access to historical datasets as well as real time data from current infrastructure and opportunities to deploy new sensors. They also will have opportunities to engage with the Challenge’s Technology Advisory Board made up of experts from leading technology companies in the IoT, 5G, and data analytics space. The Technology Advisory Board will serve as coaches and mentors to the teams and as proposal and project evaluators.

The winner will pilot their solution for the City of West Lafayette, as well as gain access to potential investors and a one-year membership to NT Convergence.

The West Lafayette Smart City Challenge generates an opportunity for the best ideas that leverage existing data and information to produce actionable insights for improving road user safety as well as providing innovators and entrepreneurs the chance to work with key decision makers and potential investors.