Innovation Authority launches second public challenge with MIA

Miami-Dade Innovation Authority, Inc. (“MDIA”), a nonprofit that works to strengthen the relationship between local government and technology companies as a way to improve the quality of life for Miami-Dade County residents, today launched its second Public Innovation Challenge.

Kicking off Thursday, December 7, MDIA is seeking proposals from both local and global technology companies that offer new and creative solutions to improve the airport experience for both passengers and staff across several specific focus areas.

In collaboration with Miami International Airport (MIA) and Miami-Dade County, MDIA will select at least three (3) early-to-growth stage technology start-ups and provide $100,000 in funding to each company to support testing of solutions at the airport, so they can be scaled to airports globally afterwards.

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, January 19, 2024.

To submit, visit:

Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, President & CEO of MDIA, “MDIA’s second public innovation challenge is not just about transforming travel; it’s about elevating MIA, one of the 10 most transited airports in the country and the largest gateway to our community.

“By prioritizing the airport experience, we pave the way for improved connectivity and equitable accessibility, fostering a more vibrant and interconnected community. A well-equipped, sustainable airport opens doors to opportunities, enriching the lives of every resident and visitor.”

This Public Innovation Challenge seeks solutions in the following categories:

●    Accessibility – Assistive technologies, including those built to improve the passenger experience for those with reduced mobility, and travelers with different physical and hidden disabilities, such as travelers who are neurodivergent, and/or who experience mental health conditions like PTSD.

●     Navigation – Wayfinding solutions that allow passengers to navigate the airport more effectively and seamlessly. Solutions may include technologies such as digital displays, virtual reality maps, omnichannel support and chat including AI, navigation instructions in various languages including sign language, and many more.

●    Sustainability – Recycling solutions ranging from AI-enabled and autonomous recycling onsite, signage and support for distinguishing recyclable materials from trash, automatic waste data collection, solutions to reduce single-use plastics and waste through promoting consumer behavior change, and incentivizing reuse and recycling.

Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade Mayor, “As the top economic engine for Miami-Dade County, and one of our largest employers directly and indirectly supporting a quarter of all local jobs, MIA’s success impacts the livelihoods of local residents and businesses more than any other asset in our community.

“Under my administration, we are making historic capital investments to make sure our airport is future-ready to offer the best service to our visitors and residents for generations to come.

“This Public Innovation Challenge will further our mission to unlock MIA’s full potential by partnering with innovators that will help it grow as both a sustainability leader and a global example of public-private innovation leading to better customer outcomes.”

In addition to the six-figure investments, selected companies will participate in a product testing program directly with MIA. MDIA will oversee each testing process and will work closely with the portfolio companies to publish a report on the outcomes and results, as well as activate its network of partners and resources to publicize the report and key findings.

Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO, “The MIA team is thrilled to partner with MDIA on the Public Innovation Challenge.

“By tapping into the creativity of the global technology community, we aim to enhance accessibility, convenience, and sustainability at our airport to better serve our growing number of passengers.

“Through an open innovation format allowing anyone to submit ideas, we look forward to piloting cutting-edge solutions that make travel efficient and inclusive for our diverse travelers.

“Most importantly, we aspire to create an airport environment championing sustainability across operations.”