UPPlift: Toronto is a virtual technology accelerator aimed at identifying and resolving challenges in the built environment. This urban pilot program aims to discover smart city solutions and facilitate live technology demonstrations. The initiative’s goal is to help resolve city challenges, such as making urban environments more energy-efficient or improving the citizen experience of a city with the assistance of IoT technology and other smart innovations.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in smart-city building, particularly in new communities, but we also need to recognize that existing cities don’t have the luxury of tearing down existing infrastructure and starting from scratch,” said Mikele Brack, founder of Urban Living Futures, the organization behind UPPlift. “We’re looking to make improvements to the built environment that will ultimately benefit the people and communities who use it every day.”

The UPPlift: Toronto process turns the city into a living lab, allowing for the deployment of smart technology into the city’s existing and future infrastructure. This gives innovators the opportunity to test out solutions in a real environment, greater access to customers, and a proof of concept. The UPPlift process also supports asset owners and managers by helping them achieve cost savings, improving operations, and providing them with access to innovations that enhance user experience.

As a virtual accelerator, UPPlift focuses on connecting technology companies with resources, rather than providing space to work.

Innovators can apply to UPPlift online. Those who attract the attention of UPPlift test-beds will be invited to participate in the program. Once an organization is accepted, innovators will meet with test-bed partners, identify opportunities, and prepare a business plan. Successful innovators will receive technology, expertise and systems integration support from UPPlift’s technology sponsors, ensuring their emergent solutions are reliable and “pilot ready”. Following successful pilots, organizations will also receive assistance in securing contracts and funding.

UPPlift: Toronto is a project from Urban Living Futures and is supported by leading industry organizations and technology companies, including Microsoft, QuadReal and Intel.

The official launch of UPPlift: Toronto takes place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.