MobiPrize Background

| April 7, 2015


For 2015: MobiPrize has returned with more prizes, more benefits and a new location for the award ceremony. After traveling from Brazil in 2012 to Michigan, USA in 2014, the MobiPrize award ceremony is now heading to India. Winners will be awarded at a conference being organized by SMART (University of Michigan) in collaboration with the Indian Institute for Competitiveness in New Delhi, India in October 2015.

What is MobiPrize and Why?
Who is sure to be interested?
Recap Mobi 2-0-1-4!
– Entrepreneurship
– Innovation
– Sustainable Transportation

The Mobi Video was produced by Annie Gallup and Peter Gallway

What is MobiPrize and Why?

SMART Mobility Enterprize (affectionately known as the “Mobi”) is an award honoring entrepreneurial ventures (and now city and state governments that support entrepreneurial ventures) that are changing the world–helping to improve the quality of life and revitalize the environment and economy of communities and regions through sustainable transportation (New Mobility).

First launched in 2012, it was conceived and developed by the University of Michigan SMART initiative and its local and international partners with the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation. For 2013, MobiPrize joined forces with the OECD’s International Transport Forum and supported the OECD’s International Transport Forum Transportation Achievement Award that was presented in Leipzig, Germany at their Annual Summit. Check out the award ceremony. For 2014, we partnered with the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress and the award ceremony took place at their annual summit which was held for 2014 in Detroit. Then, come 2015 we’ll be offering exciting new prizes (and enterprise supports).  Watch our website as we build the momentum for a larger presence.

Why? Percentage of people in the world now living in cities: 50, and growing fast. Also growing: the aging population, climate change, social inequity, traffic congestion, pollution and economic and geopolitical unpredictability. And all of these are affecting the poor and vulnerable even more deeply. In a context like this we just can’t think about transportation the way we used to.

Response?  Despite all odds, and from every corner of the world, cutting edge services, products, modes, technologies, infrastructures, designs, and systems are emerging to move us a little closer to more livable, caring communities and more vital and sustainable economies. These promising seeds of transformation need nurturing.

Who is sure to be interested?

  • Entrepreneurs are interested in MobiPrize because it honors, connects, promotes and supports entrepreneurs and ventures related to advancing New Mobility around the world.
  • Big Business is interested in MobiPrize because it identifies innovative solutions and new business models and responds to and shapes trends and demands for a growing New Mobility market.
  • Academics are interested in MobiPrize because it brings together projects from around the world that are focussed on sustainable transportation solutions, uncovering new approaches and pointing to needed research and education in this growing field.
  • International Development professionals are interested in MobiPrize because it catalogs sustainable transportation solutions arising from emerging demands and shifting demographics, and relates to larger trends in urban living and access to goods and services.
  • Investors are interested in MobiPrize because the wide and diverse base of candidates represents not only an exciting investment opportunity but also an opportunity for the betterment of their communities through sustainable transportation.
  • Human Rights advocates are interested in MobiPrize because it fosters innovations across the board, all over the world, from every walk of life in need of transportation solutions.
  • Who else do you think would be interested and why?  Contact us.

Recap Mobi 2-0-1-4!

For 2014, the Grand MobiPrize was accompanied by two new prizes, one for Michigan-based entrepreneurs and another for Enterprising Cities/States that support New Mobility entrepreneurship and innovation. See details on these prize categories.

Winners of all the three prizes were awarded at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Detroit from Sept 7-11, 2014. This event brought together more than 10,000 transportation professionals, engineers, planners, business leaders, innovators, elected officials and public agency representatives from the U.S. and around the world to focus on and experience first-hand a full range of  information technology applied to transportation. There was also a special New Mobility stream at the event. This represented a key global platform from which winners can showcase their work and be recognized for cutting edge innovation.

Note that even those who didn’t win 2014 Mobi Prize were still winners. They are listed as part of the Mobi Network in the SMART Mobility Registry of New Mobility Ventures. This databank is for established enterprises, budding enterprises and entities that support enterprises in sustainable transportation. It profiles your enterprise and connects you with customers, VC’s, investors, other entrepreneurs, and potential collaborators.



We like this definition:

“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” – Howard Stevenson, Harvard Business School


We like this definition:

“Innovation occurs when different points of view and different existing elements are reframed, reimagined or recombined in new ways to achieve a transformational product, process or service”. -Geoff Mulgan (Social Innovation: What is it?), Andrew Hargadon (professor at UC Davis and network theorist), and Richard Evans (arts innovation consultant).

Sustainable Transportation?

AKA New Mobility, sustainable transportation is about moving people, moving goods, and moving less in ways that are cleaner, greener, safer, healthier, more equitable (and hipper).


SMART (Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation) at the University of Michigan undertakes and catalyzes research, demonstration projects (Living Labs), education, and global learning exchange on a range of issues related to the sustainable future of transportation in an urbanizing world. Recognizing the complexity of the challenge and the sophistication of the innovation required, SMART takes a systems approach to urban mobility, or more broadly, accessibility. As a university-wide initiative of UMTRI and the Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning, SMART works with local and international partners from diverse sectors and disciplines to understand and develop new theoretical approaches, and to generate and accelerate implementation of practical, innovative, systems solutions and enterprises. Solutions that tell a holistic and hopeful story for the future of communities and the people in them.

Category: Featured

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