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Press Release

GPI and TAO launch inaugural tech challenge to identify solutions to regional mobility issues

January 25,2018 | By GPI

Greater Portland Tech Challenge places public agencies and private firms in the driver’s seat


Greater Portland Inc and the Technology Association of Oregon invite agencies and firms from the public and private sectors to collaborate, innovate and propose solutions to complex issues relating to mobility in the Greater Portland region. The inaugural Greater Portland Tech Challenge - Feb. 28 at Daimler Trucks North America - will pair technology firms with transit agencies, government, community organizations, and transportation-focused companies to explore technology solutions to the region’s mobility and transportation challenges.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge: How it works
The Pitch: Agencies, government, community groups and tech firms will pitch their transportation and mobility challenges to each other on Feb. 28.
The Problem: That same day, organizations presenting a mobility problem will be paired with tech firms to explore their challenges in depth through one-on-one meetings.
The Match: After the initial challenge day, organizations will build out their problem-solving team by partnering with a tech firm to establish a demo or pilot project.
The Deliverable: Viable collaborations will be invited to present their solutions at the national Global Cities Team Challenge Tech Jam, to be held June 20-22 in Portland.

This year’s tech challenge will explore mobility problems facing this region. Subsequent challenges may seek tech solutions in other areas that would benefit from a partnership among agencies and tech firms. Three of the region’s public sector transit leaders ODOT, WSDOT and Metro have already signed up with mobility challenges. Participation guidelines and challenge statements from participating organizations are posted online at http://www.greaterportland2020.com/techchallenge.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge is a signature project of Greater Portland 2020, the region’s five-year economic development action plan focused on achieving economic prosperity for all. Greater Portland 2020 centers on three areas of activity: People, Business and Place.  The Greater Portland Tech Challenge cross-cuts each action area by identifying transportation challenges to disadvantaged residents, showcasing private sector innovation, and exploring ways to improve the infrastructure that support people, business and innovation.

“We’re confident Greater Portland has the talent to innovate how the region moves in smarter directions,” said Lloyd Purdy, GPI Vice President of Regional Competitiveness. “Greater Portland has been and continues to be a pioneer in the computer & electronics, software and clean tech industries—all of which impact how this region develops including our transit and transportation infrastructure. The Tech Challenge will showcase the best of what Greater Portland has to offer in tech mobility innovation.”
Some examples of mobility and transportation issues participants may seek to explore through the Greater Portland Tech Challenge:
•    Trying to figure out last mile connections for our workforce between transit and workplace
•    Bridging the digital divide to bring mobility options to underrepresented residents
•    Helping with data collection, visualization and coordination
•    Integrating autonomous vehicles into existing transportation networks

“In addition to an expanding population base and transportation challenges, the Greater Portland area is also home to a collection of innovative companies helping to shape the future of transportation and mobility, including Daimler, DAT, FLIR, Genze, Greenbrier, Intel, Jaguar Land Rover, Mobility Cubed, moovel, PolySync, Tozny, and Urban Systems among others,” said Skip Newberry, President and CEO of the Technology Association of Oregon.  “We also have thousands of civic-minded software and hardware engineers and tech companies with the capability to develop and deploy components for all aspects of intelligent transportation systems. The Regional Tech Challenge presents an opportunity to bring these resources together with the local public and academic sectors to improve transportation and mobility in the region.”

About Greater Portland Inc: Greater Portland Inc provides support and services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Greater Portland, a region that spans two states and seven counties. A true public-private partnership model, Greater Portland Inc is supported by more than 70 public-sector partners and private investors who are committed to advancing regional economic development through job growth and investment. Greater Portland Inc and partners shape the region’s economic future and marketing the region to the world. www.greaterportlandinc.com.

Greater Portland 2020: This five-year plan is a comprehensive economic development strategy developed by stakeholders from across the bi-state, multi-county region. The goal of Greater Portland 2020 is economic prosperity for all across the region, which can be accomplished by aligning Greater Portland’s business, education and civic leaders. Three core strategies - People, Business, Place -  frame Greater Portland 2020 and are guided by principles of equity and advancement. http://www.greaterportland2020.com/

About Technology Association of Oregon: TAO is a local nonprofit working to build opportunities, better our economy and unify a voice for innovation. TAO empowers businesses and entrepreneurs through networks, events, advocacy, resources and more. TAO is the force behind the tech industry—supporting entrepreneurs, connecting peers and decision makers and helping establish the Northwest as a global hub for innovation. http://www.techoregon.org/

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