PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia today launched “Pitch & Pilot,” an initiative to engage the private sector in testing technology that has the potential to solve problems and advance City priorities.

Pitch & Pilot is an outgrowth of the SmartCityPHL Roadmap, spearheaded by the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT). Pitch & Pilot will solicit, test, and evaluate creative approaches to municipal government challenges. Proposals will also be evaluated on their potential to benefit residents who are underserved by existing solutions.

“I know there’s a lot of ingenuity in Philadelphia’s tech-based private sector, and I’m confident that Pitch & Pilot will bring bold and cost-effective solutions to some of the issues that vex our government,” said Chief Information Officer Mark Wheeler. “This effort fully supports one of the core tenets of SmartCityPHL: creating a process for engagement and partnership to ensure that the voices of residents and stakeholders are included in the development and deployment of Smart City technology.”

For the first round of solicitations, OIT today released a call for technology-enabled solutions to support and track reductions in waste generated and sent to landfills. OIT will award up to $34,000 to a solution provider whose idea is most likely to advance Philadelphia’s goal of zero waste by 2035 in a way that is financially sustainable for the City. The award will support a limited deployment of the solution, engagement of community members and relevant stakeholders, and evaluation of the solution’s effectiveness and financial sustainability.

“I’m thrilled that our Zero Waste initiative is a focus of the first round of Pitch & Pilot,” said Nic Esposito, Zero Waste and Litter Director for the City of Philadelphia. “I know firsthand that technology can be part of the solution to waste and litter, and I’m excited by the prospect of seeing the proposals that can get us closer to our goal.”

Pitch & Pilot is managed by OIT’s Innovation Management team. A working group with representatives from City departments and agencies, the private sector, and local universities provides guidance and support.

More information on Pitch & Pilot, including application guidelines, can be found on the Pitch & Pilot webpage. The page also links to a form that members of the public can use to suggest future topics for the program. The application process for the first round closes on January 16, 2020 and a solution provider will be selected in February.