Newcastle Smart Mobility Challenge

How can we encourage the citizens of Newcastle, Australia to adopt smarter transport options?

Challenge Overview

We challenge YOU to design solutions that accelerate and increase sustainable transport use in Newcastle, Australia. 

Great ideas and solutions are everywhere and there's huge potential to explore complex city problems through design thinking and crowdsourcing. This challenge provides an opportunity for anyone around the world who is passionate about the future of transport to contribute new ideas and ways of thinking to the development of mobility solutions in this amazing city.  

We welcome entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, and anyone eager to contribute, to jump into this challenge and imagine solutions which change behaviours. Enter as an individual or part of a team and you could win US$2000 and the chance to have your solution developed with AU$25,000 in funding through City of Newcastle's Startup Catapult program. 

The City

Newcastle, on the East Coast of Australia, is a growing and vibrant area which is connected to Sydney via rail and road and to the world by sea and air. Its community enjoys a special relationship to its harbour and beaches and it offers its residents a high quality of life, affordable housing, exciting recreational and cultural options and activities and quality health facilities.

There is a wide range of educational opportunities through quality schools, TAFE and the University of Newcastle attracting students from across the nation and globe. Newcastle is also home to many mid-sized service corporations and known for the high level of productivity and innovation of its workforce. It is a popular cruise ship, conference and short break destination, and it services a regional population in excess of 600,000 people.

The Problem

Because of these unique qualities and attributes, Newcastle is facing unparalleled growth and has recognised the need to develop innovative solutions to traditional problems in order to address rapid change. The City's challenge is to manage this in a way that optimises social and economic benefits, reduces the impacts of inefficient travel and energy consumption, all while ensuring a globally attractive quality of life and conducive business environment.

This includes accelerating the transition of major modes of city mobility to electric vehicle as well as multi-modal networks to deliver time critical, accessible options while promoting cycling, public transport and walking linkages to decrease reliance on private vehicles and reduce the city's carbon footprint.

That's why we're looking for future mobility solutions for Newcastle, Australia that will leverage our new smart city infrastructure and deliver greater transport flexibility for the city's users. 

The Challenge

How can we encourage the citizens of Newcastle, Australia to adopt smarter transport options? How can motivation strategies such as incentives or gamification be used to nudge Newcastle citizens and visitors to adopt more sustainable transport practices? Responses to the challenge could include:

  • Propose an economic pricing model for EV change points in Newcastle which will increase turnover and usage
  • Propose a solution using game design principles to spur people to consider a range of transport options
  • Propose a data integration solution which could help Newcastle citizens and visitors get a single view of multi modal transport options
  • Peak-hour congestion is pressing issues for public transport agencies around the world. How can we use transport capacity more efficiently to shift demand from peak to off-peak times

Next steps

  • Click ACCEPT CHALLENGE above to sign up for the challenge
  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about the requirements and rules
  • Share this challenge on social media using the icons above. Show your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.

With thanks to...

The Challenge is part of the $13m Smart Moves Newcastle project which received $5m through the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program in 2017. Through Smart Moves Newcastle, the City of Newcastle is partnering with a consortium of technology businesses to provide an integrated network for transport, energy and digital infrastructure, transforming Newcastle into a ‘living lab’. Eighteen04 is collaborating with the City to deliver the Newcastle Smart Mobility Challenge.


Challenge Guidelines

The Challenge 

How can we encourage the citizens of Newcastle, Australia to adopt smarter transport options?


The Challenge offers $2,000 USD for the best solution. 

How Do I Win?

To be eligible for an award, your proposal must, at minimum:

  • Satisfy the Judging Scorecard requirements
  • Thoughtfully address the Submission Form questions
  • Be scored higher than your competitors!

Judging Criteria

Judging CriteriaDescriptionPoints
Innovativeness of ApproachHow does the proposed solution differ from existing solutions addressing this problem? How is the solution innovative or novel?20

Quality of Solution

Is the solution substantiated, well-reasoned, and realistic? Are the assumptions justified and backed by thorough discussion, design, and conclusions? Points awarded for the proposal's ability to present a solution in a complete, cohesive, and convincing manner.20
ViabilityHow capable of working successfully is the proposed solution? Is the robustness of the solution's proposal supported by demonstration of concept, pilot/test trials, and/or simulations to substantiate that the technology is or would be operable and feasible?20
ImpactDoes the solution consider the improvement in the quality of life for individuals, people around them, and the community overall? Does the entrant state the improvement, for whom, and how the solution will increase quality of life?20
ImplementationWhen transitioning from theory to implementation, how practical is the viability of implementation, relative to the scale of the solution? Does the entrant state the resources, timing, and funding needed?20

Additional Rules

Awarding Prizes

The highest scoring team/s will be awarded a prize based on a formal judging process using the judging criteria stated in the Challenge Guidelines. 

The determination of the winner will be made by the judging project team appointed by the Challenge organisers (Eighteen04 in collaboration with City of Newcastle).

Participation Eligibility

The Challenge encourages participation from all individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Teams may originate from any country. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English. 

The Challenge organisers encourage outside individuals and non-expert teams to compete and propose new solutions. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, which will be made available upon registration.

Registration and Submissions

PDF submissions of not more than 20 pages must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, on or before the stated deadlines. No late submissions will be accepted. Maximum File Size of 20MB.

Selection of Winners

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on the highest votes from the Judges.

Intellectual Property

The Innovator will retain all intellectual property rights to their idea/proposal/technology as submitted to HeroX. The winning entry may be considered for inclusion in City of Newcastle's Startup Catapult program for further development and AUD$25,000 in funding. If successful in Startup Catapult, City of Newcastle may negotiate a license to the intellectual property.

Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.
Updates 4

Challenge Updates

Calling all smart mobility experts: 16 hours left to enter!

Dec. 12, 2018, 12:55 p.m. PST by Eighteen04

If you haven't already, make sure you submit your entry for the Newcastle Smart Mobility Challenge! With 16 hours to go before we close for submissions, we already have 20+ entries. Make sure your great idea is in the running for the US$2,000 prize. Our awesome team of judges is getting excited to see what you've got. 

Only two more day to register your entry!

Dec. 10, 2018, 1:50 p.m. PST by Eighteen04

This is it! There's only two more days to enter the Newcastle's Smart Mobility Challenge. You don't want to miss out on the US$2,000 prize, and opportunity to enter the City of Newcastle's catapult program. So if you haven't already, submit your entry today. We can't wait to see what you've come up with. 



Lena & the Smart Mobility Challenge team. 

Only 15 days to go; we can't wait to receive more submissions!

Nov. 27, 2018, 3:24 a.m. PST by Eighteen04

It’s crunch time! The pressure is on. So what would the next HeroX do in a situation like this? Take the challenge head on! 

With the deadline for entries right around the corner, the Newcastle Smart Mobility Challenge is entering the final stretch of competition. So far we have 14 submissions - make sure your great idea gets considered. 

For some inspiration and understanding of where Newcastle is at today, make sure you check out our Resource page if you haven't already. https://www.herox.com/NewcastleSmartCity/resources. 

For any questions, do let me know. 



Who's in?

Nov. 18, 2018, 5:28 p.m. PST by Eighteen04

Only 10 days left to register for this challenge which will change the way Novocastrians think about getting from A to B! We can't wait to see your ideas.

Forum 11
Teams 103
Grand Prize Winner
2nd place
Minouti Kamat's team Minouti Kamat's team
1 team member
Looking for members
Bernardo Fajardo's team Bernardo Fajardo's team
2 team members
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Alina Galieva's team Alina Galieva's team
3 team members
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BlueChilli BlueChilli
3 team members
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Cameron Owen's team Cameron Owen's team
4 team members
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Lynn Riley's team Lynn Riley's team
1 team member
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Accessibility in the City Accessibility in the City
1 team member
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Solar Powered Green Team's team Solar Powered Green Team's team
1 team member
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James Rabbitt's team James Rabbitt's team
1 team member
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jeff stollman's team jeff stollman's team
1 team member
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Mrityunjay Pandey's team Mrityunjay Pandey's team
2 team members
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Ridho Kusuma's team Ridho Kusuma's team
1 team member
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Opportumeety Opportumeety
2 team members
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Edward Friesema's team Edward Friesema's team
1 team member
Looking for members