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GeniUS! heads to Rio for global awards

GeniUS York

12:01am 2nd May 2012

The GeniUS! scheme, York's first community open innovation forum, is going global as the team behind it head for a worldwide innovation summit and awards ceremony in Rio de Janeiro today (2nd May 2012.)

Launched by City of York Council and Science City York in January, GeniUS! is an online community innovation platform, which aims to inspire, unite and mobilise ideas from residents, community groups, businesses and visitors in order to help tackle major social and environmental issues in York.

The Living Labs Global Awards on 2nd May in Brazil will highlight and promote technological and social innovation in tackling the challenges cities around the world face in areas such as health, urban management, carbon management, mobility, education and tourism.

Shortlisted from 92 applicants down to just five, GeniUS! has been nominated for an award for a proposal to take this pioneering approach to South Africa and pilot the initiative in Cape Town.  

If GeniUS! triumphs at the awards, Heather Niven from Science City York and Neil Wilford from City of York Council CYC will be invited to Cape Town to help run a GeniUS! pilot there later this year.

Following the awards, at a global summit meeting on 3rd May, the team will also get the chance to pitch the scheme to leaders from twenty-one Living Labs Global Award partner cities and 150 innovation experts from around the world.

Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council said:

"This is a fantastic opportunity to export the city's innovative listening approach to problem-solving. Only a few months in to the project we are already achieving national, and now global, recognition for the way York is working collaboratively to create better, long-lasting and relevant services for the city."

Heather Niven, SCY's innovation specialist, said:

"We immediately recognised the parallel between Cape Town's desire to develop an 'innovation ecosystem' between the business community, residents and city administration and our very own initiative. The GeniUS! scheme shows how we can collaborate with the private sector and our communities to increase our innovation capacity to make our city a better place to live, visit and work. I am delighted that it's now being seen as a future model to explore opportunities for open innovation in other cities around the world."

This month the team behind GeniUS! is also submitting an application for stage two of the NESTA Creative Councils programme for up to £250k to support some of the solutions and develop the project in York and beyond. The outcome of the bid will be declared by the end of May.

A short video has been created in support of the bid which can be seen below:

For more information on Living Labs Global Awards visit http://www.llga.org/

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