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New Jersey Innovation Institute to Co-host First State-Wide Civic Tech Competition in NJ: Coding for Community

Competition kicks off with an all-day event January 27 at NJIT in Newark

Sustainable Jersey, with co-host New Jersey Innovation Institute, is holding Coding for Community (CfC) the first of its kind, New Jersey-wide civic tech competition. “We’re pairing municipalities with technology professionals and students to develop real solutions for local sustainability and public engagement issues,” said Lauren Skowronski, director for community engagement for Sustainable Jersey. Professional and student coders, programmers and digital designers from across the region will work with municipal staff, green team members and elected officials, similar to the now popular hackathons.

On Jan. 27, the competition kicks off with an all-day event at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, where potential tech solutions to local issues will be identified and teams will form. “We’re inviting participants to dream big as towns will be paired with innovative minds to create tools that can address a need within the community such as tracking reductions in waste and greenhouse gas emissions or collecting input from residents on quality of life decisions. Think apps, data and input gathering, visualizations and beyond,” said Thomas Motyka, the senior executive director of Smart Infrastructure Innovation at the New Jersey Innovation Institute. 

Brian Platt, the director of the Jersey City Office of Innovation said, “Governments traditionally have limited technology resources and data analysis capabilities, but typically have a high degree of need for these types of advances.” He explains that there is a lot to be learned from the private sector and other communities that have brought successful technologies to address local sustainability and public engagement issues. “I see the Coding for Community event as a way to connect other towns in New Jersey with a talented pool of tech experts that can help drive transformative change through the use of technology.”

AT&T is providing $10,000 to Sustainable Jersey to use for prize money. The winning team will receive $8,000 and runners-up will receive $4,000. Municipalities actively involved in the winning team’s project will receive $2,000 for the first-place team and $1,000 for the second-place team. Sustainable Jersey is partnering on this event with the City of Jersey City, Code for Trenton, Code for Jersey City, Code for Princeton, OpenGov, the New Jersey Innovation Institute, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Sustainable Princeton. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Knight Foundation are project funders.

EVENT DETAILS
Coding for Community Kick-Off Event
Friday, Jan. 27, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
NJIT Campus Center, the Atrium, 150 Bleeker Street, Newark, NJ 07102
MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER:  http://cfc.sustainablejersey.com/

About NJII

The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation that applies the intellectual and technological resources of the state’s science and technology university to challenges identified by industry partners. Through its Innovation Labs (iLabs), NJII brings NJIT expertise to key economic sectors, including healthcare delivery systems, bio-pharmaceutical production, civil infrastructure, defense and homeland security, and financial services.

About Sustainable Jersey

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 78 percent, or 441 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 229 school districts and 568 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.

Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program and the Surdna Foundation. The 2016 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program for municipalities is funded by PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. South Jersey Gas and New Jersey Natural Gas are Platinum Sponsors. NJM Insurance Group is a Gold Sponsor, Bayshore Recycling and Investors Bank are a Silver Sponsors and our Bronze Sponsors are Covanta, JCP&L, Direct Energy Solar, SolarCity and Sungevity.