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Itron invites entries for smart community challenge

The company has collaborated with three utilities to identify key challenges which focus on electric vehicle charging as grid resources and resiliency.

The Smart Community Challenge aims to help utilities better serve communities
The Smart Community Challenge aims to help utilities better serve communities

Itron is inviting innovators to join its virtual IoT accelerator programme to help tackle the challenges faced by utilities and the communities they serve.


Participants can utilise Itron’s open platform to create solutions for challenges designed by participating utilities, which focus on turning electric vehicle charging into grid resources and resiliency.


Applications to participate are due by March 25, 2020.


Community challenge


The Itron Smart Community Challenge follows its 2019 Smart City Challenge, which sought IoT solutions for challenges in London and Glasgow. “The Itron Smart City Challenge inspired breakthrough solutions for two major cities in Europe, and we are thrilled to bring this innovative programme to North America with the Smart Community Challenge,” said Itai Dadon, director of smart cities and IoT at Itron.


The company, which helps cities deliver critical infrastructure services to communities in more than 100 countries, has collaborated with the utility companies Avista and Liberty Utilities to identify the following challenges:


Electric vehicle charging as grid resources

Avista is looking for solutions that will enable communities to turn electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) into grid resources through grid optimisation, time-based consumption and load management, while improving the customer experience.


Example solutions could support communication and control of charging events between vehicles and the grid or, alternatively, applications that enable consumers to opt-into load management programmes.


The resiliency challenge

To help Liberty Utilities endure prolonged outage events caused by severe weather events, this challenge invites solutions that enable utilities and communities to minimise service disruptions for critical infrastructure assets located in a designated emergency safe zone.


For example, a solution could provide back-up power and communications for critical services in an emergency safe zone. In this safe zone, critical infrastructure such as street lighting and traffic signalling could operate using energy storage to ensure public safety.


Example solutions could support communication and control of charging events between vehicles and the grid.


Utilising Itron’s standards-based developer tools, technology providers are invited to integrate their solutions with Itron’s IoT platform to create solutions for these challenges. A select group of qualified participants will receive complementary development kits and technical support from Itron to prototype their solutions.


The winners of each challenge will be able to fast-track development of their solution, participate in co-marketing opportunities with Itron, and tap into Itron’s global salesforce to access more than 8,000 utilities and cities worldwide.


The application period is now open and will close on March 25, 2020. To learn more about the challenges, visit


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