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Foxconn Technology Group received 325 submissions from students, faculty and staff from Wisconsin colleges and universities for the first round of its “Smart Cities-Smart Futures” competition, according to a company announcement.

Applicants submitted ideas throughout October for technology that will enhance quality of life, improve working environments, expand transportation networks and living spaces, inspire creative city planning, and promote sustainable energy solutions.

A panel of judges will evaluate submissions and announce up to 100 winners by Dec. 11. Each winner will receive a $500 cash prize and move on to the second round of the competition, which runs from mid-December through January 2019.

Individuals and teams will receive financial incentives and in-kind technical support from Foxconn to bring their projects to life. Over the next three years, the company projects providing up to $1 million in awards to the “Smart Cities-Smart Futures” initiative.

Foxconn partnered with the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Wisconsin Technical College System. The contest is also supported by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Technology Council, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the WiSys Technology Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation.

Foxconn is building a $10 billion manufacturing and research plant in Mount Pleasant with the help of a $3-plus billion state tax credit. It is reportedly the largest assistance package any state has offered a foreign company in U.S. history.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.