Amazon Web Services has launched its second City on a Cloud challenge, a worldwide initiative recognising governments and their technology partners who are using cloud computing to deliver more effective services and instant information to the public in their respective countries.A panel of judges will appraise governments’ and technology firms’ projects based on a number of criteria, such as their long-term viability, how impactful the solutions are likely to be and how they’re implemented with the AWS cloud itself.

Teresa Carlson, an AWS Worldwide Public Sector vice-president, said when announcing this year’s challenge that governments and enterprise would be rewarded for their efforts in using cloud technology to enhance what they do. “All around the world, local and regional governments are using the AWS cloud to innovate and meet their mission,” she said. “We’re looking forward to this year’s City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge and seeing how local governments are using the cloud in transformative ways.”

AWS launched the City on a Cloud challenge in 2014, with the grand prize in the Best Practices category awarded to the New York City Department of Transportation for its use of the cloud in delivering services and live information to the public about street safety and maintenance, the subway and buses, as well as bike lanes and construction projects. Other Best Practices winners included the city of Asheville in North Carolina and London City Airport.

In the Partners in Innovation category, awarded companies included HunchLab, Neptune Technology Group and ePropertyPlus, all of whom are consulting on information technology projects with local and regional governments, including in Singapore and around South-East Asia, to develop local services for the public.

Entries close on 21 August 2015, and finalists will be chosen in September, with the winners announced at an AWS event in Las Vegas the following month. This year, a third category has been added – Dream Big, which will focus on innovations and new ideas for the development of cloud computing. AWS credits totalling US$250,000 will be given to the winners.

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