Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has just launched Go Green in the City 2018, its global contest to find bold ideas and innovative solutions for smarter, more energy-efficient cities.

Across the Arabian Gulf, public, private, and academic sectors are collaborating on developing Smart Cities innovations, especially for Dubai Smart City and Masdar City in the UAE. The Middle East is key for supporting the global Smart Cities technology market reaching $775bn by 2021, according to BCC Research.

Sevda Esenturk, vice president of HR for Gulf Countries and Pakistan, Schneider Electric, said: “Smart Cities in the Arabian Gulf have among the world’s most ambitious visions. Our Go Green in the City contest is tapping into the knowledge of the region’s student developers to foster innovations that can take Smart City sustainability to the next level. We are broadening students’ horizons and helping to bring their innovations to a global audience and market.”

In 2017, nearly 20,000 young innovators from 3,000 universities in 180 countries took part, including 58 percent women. Last year, the Gulf and Pakistan winners were Kanza Naeem and Zohaib Salahuddin from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan. Their Team Cyclops developed “Jashin”, a web-based concept that monitors power usage from appliances, and alerts users on excess consumption.

In 2018, the competition should attract even more interest, thanks to a wider range of topics. Students are invited to submit their bold ideas in one of five categories: sustainability and inclusivity, the digital economy, smart supply chain, cyber security, or “no boundaries/bold idea for going green” (any topic). “Sustainability and inclusivity”, “no boundaries” have been popular topics for many years. Newly added these three categories reflect a greater focus on digitisation, along with a “sky’s the limit” approach to innovation.

Teams must be composed of two students attending accredited business or engineering schools in the same country for the duration of the competition. Each team should include at least one female member, in line with Schneider Electric’s policy of promoting diversity and inclusion. The deadline for submissions is June 1st, 2018.

All shortlisted teams will receive mentoring by Schneider Electric experts to produce viable business cases to present at one of seven regional semi-finals over the summer in Europe, North America, China, India, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South America. Each of the seven regional winners will then be invited to prepare for the competition final, along with one outstanding all-female team and two “wild-card” teams (additional teams selected from the semi-finalists).

After this second round of mentoring, 10 teams will meet at the global final in the United States (city to be announced) in the autumn. The global winning team selected by the executive jury, will be offered the chance to start a career at Schneider Electric, after an international travel to visit any two locations of their choice worldwide, where Schneider Electric offices are present.