UI Labs just got a half a million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to continue its smart city efforts.
UI Labs, an innovation hub on Goose Island focused on digital manufacturing, announced that it has been awarded a $500,000 grant for its City Digital program. City Digital, which UI Labs launched in 2015, is an initiative that uses Chicago as a testbed for big data projects and other technology improvements that enhance the quality of life for people in Chicago.
Initial City Digital projects have included 3D mapping of Chicago’s underground infrastructure to prevent construction accidents, improving stormwater management to avoid flooding, and making the city’s buildings more energy efficient.
The grant comes from the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program, which handed out awards through its i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grants competition.
“This funding fast-tracks City Digital’s ability to deliver commercial solutions to urban markets,” City Digital Executive Director Brenna Berman said in a statement. “The i6 Challenge award will support our innovation delivery engine, which brings together diverse stakeholders in the Chicago region to solve critical challenges with transformative technology.”
Berman left her role as chief information officer for the City of Chicago in May to join UI Labs.
UI Labs was one of 42 organizations to receive funding through the Regional Innovation Strategies program, which gave out a total of $17 million in grants.