Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

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Rebecca Moudry

Fairfax County and Smart City Works Select Winner of Pitch and Pilot: Fairfax County Innovation Challenge

Fairfax County and Smart City Works, along with the Center for Innovative Technology, announced that  Street Simplified, based in Los Angeles, California, is the winner of the Pitch and Pilot: Fairfax Innovation Challenge held on April 21, 2021. Street Simplified won out over five other companies who pitched their innovating solutions to improving bike and pedestrian safety. Sensagrate, a smart city intelligent traffic safety company, was awarded People’s Choice. 

The winner was chosen by a five-judge team who based their choice on the company’s  data driven approach that identified risks using existing infrastructure; detailed appropriate safety countermeasure; and then evaluated and studied the results.  Additionally, Street Simplified partnered with Fairfax Families for Safer Streets which bolstered their application. Fairfax County will now begin looking at the next steps for possible implementation of the winning pilot project.

“This is an excellent example of how emerging technology can address real world problems and provide cost effective, innovative solutions. And in this case, it will make a difference by saving lives.  Fairfax County continues to be a place where innovation lives and flourishes,” noted Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. By partnering and hosting these events, Fairfax County is leading the way for local governments to quickly identify growing concerns and then find and test creative solutions.

Since 2002, Fairfax County has invested more than $536 million in federal, state, and local funding on standalone bicycle, trail, pedestrian and bus stop improvements. As traffic congestion decreased during the coronavirus pandemic, Fairfax County experienced rise in enthusiasm for active travel meaning walking, biking, rolling (scooter/wheelchair/stroller), hiking, running, and riding. The focus on active transportation continues to bring community and private sector partners to the table to collaboratively work with the county to find creative ways to meet these safety challenges. 

Pitch and Pilot: Fairfax County Innovation Challenge is one of a series of innovation challenges Fairfax County and Smart City Works are hosting, to harness the best and brightest ideas to solve today’s (and tomorrow’s) challenges. By partnering and hosting these events, Fairfax County is leading the way to identify growing issues and quickly find and test solutions. To learn more about this Challenge, visit:
About Smart City Challenge Organizers 
Fairfax County is Virginia’s largest county with 1.1 million residents and the home of eleven Fortune 500 companies make Fairfax the go-to for smart technology. Professional, scientific, and technical services account for 25 percent of employment in the county (four times the national average). And it is home to innovative startups, hundreds of companies from other countries, and a vibrant minority business community.  

Smart City Works, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that empowers communities to solve urban challenges and improve economic growth, through technology innovation. Working with partners in government, universities, businesses, and nonprofits, we lead the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative.  The Smart Region Initiative’s goal is to help establish Northern Virginia as a world center of excellence for urban technology innovation, and a destination for digital technology companies to build and grow their businesses. Smart City Works is a proud winner of and is supported by regional innovation and economic development grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and GO Virginia.

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Wendy Lemieux
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