SMART e-News. February 2012.




Don’t forget SMART’s Calendar and Event Listings on the SMART Blog: Just click on the event to get details on a wide variety of local and international events that come SMART’s way.


Don’t forget SMART’s Opportunities Listings:

It posts local and international funding and job opportunities, academic posts, prizes, competitions that come our way. Check the whole list, or search by category. Just scroll down.


Welcome to February 2012’s SMART e-News!


Dear friends of SMART. This e-news is an abridged edition to focus your attention on the launch of the new Mobi Prize for New Mobility entrepreneurs. Do read the quick update on SMART activities since December, but watch for much more detail on what’s brewing in the next issue.


The “Mobi” (short for SMART Mobility EnterPrize) is an award celebrating entrepreneurial ventures in sustainable transportation, made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation. See

If you are an entrepreneur with a venture that advances New Mobility, you can apply for the prize.

There are 3 Grand Prizes that include:

$5000 USD
a trip to Rio + 20 in June to receive the prize
dedicated time with top notch entrepreneurial mentors

Special recognition will be given for New Mobility ventures that:

seamlessly connect with or enhance the wider (sustainable) transportation system
serve the urban poor
encourage young entrepreneurs

Though SMART has been working to promote the prize in India, South Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines, the Mobi is open to all New Mobility entrepreneurs worldwide.

Even if you don’t win one of the three grand prizes, you are still a winner because you will be listed in the SMART EnterPrize Register of New Mobility Ventures. This listing will profile your enterprise and connect you with customers, VC’s, investors, other entrepreneurs, and collaborators locally and globally.

Members and friends of the SMART community are so very excited about this unique opportunity to discover and celebrate innovators and trailblazers from all corners of the world and all walks of life. We’re especially excited to learn about some of the common challenges posed for entrepreneurs who are at times working against all odds to invent and roll out solutions aimed at improving quality of life, environment and economy from the neighborhood to the global scale. We see both the prize and the listing as ways to “unearth” or “crowd source” the widest range of unique and promising ventures that in the aggregate can inform policy, research, and practice worldwide and perhaps help to remove barriers to innovation in this growing area of New Mobility.

So if you’re not an entrepreneur yourself, please forward nominations or links to people or ventures you think should be included on the journey and we’ll invite them to apply right away.

As context, the Mobi Prize is one component of a year-long Rockefeller Foundation-supported project of SMART called “Catalyzing the New Mobility in Cities”. The aim of this exciting project is to identify existing and emerging New Mobility business models and innovative transportation approaches including those that benefit the urban poor; to identify and convene the social entrepreneurs advancing these new models along with key stakeholders; and to explore possible paths for scaling up those models.

In addition to the prize, SMART is connecting with representatives from the private sector, social enterprise, government, civil society, and academe to produce a report focused on the current state of the New Mobility industry worldwide, emerging new business models, and recommendations for related policy, research, and tech transfer that benefits the urban poor and at the same time addresses wider emerging trends and opportunities related to New Mobility globally. If you are interested in learning more about the report or contributing to it, please contact Sue Zielinski at


You’ll remember that last April the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and Michigan State University held a successful and ground breaking Inaugural Summit of the Transforming Transportation Research Corridor Consortium (TTRCC). If you missed it you can now catch videos of the many and diverse presentations on transforming transportation in Michigan and beyond. If you were able to attend, enjoy the memories! Go to:

Many thanks to the fine folks at MSU who made the videos possible.

Meanwhile please be in touch to share your stories of what research and action has transpired / transformed / emerged for you or your project since the summit.


As part of the “Catalyzing The New Mobility in Cities” project, representatives of local and regional government, large and small business, ngo’s and academe came together with SMART last week to map the transportation mode and service connectivity (the “New Mobility Grid”) and related economic opportunity in Manila Philippines. This SMART mapping process was part of a larger project to identify new business models and integrated mobility solutions geared to the urban poor in Metro Manila. Led by Dean Tony LaVina, Dr. Doy Romero, Dr. Danielle Guillen, and Lorenzo (JR) Cordova the session focused on a part of Quezon City as a starting point for mapping other areas across Metro Manila, and as a step towards implementing an enhanced New Mobility grid region wide.


What policies, interventions, innovations, and partnerships best enable urban areas to create more livable communities? To answer this question, an Integrated Assessment can bring together researchers, stakeholders, and decision makers to develop common analytical approaches, data sets, tools, and policies for relevant sustainable transportation and livable community interventions. This holistic view incorporates a wide range of policies and strategies including sustainable transportation initiatives, land-use planning, economic development, communications and telecommunications, technology, environmental protection, health promotion, and more.

Integrated Assessment Planning Grants

To support this work, the Graham Institute has funded five planning grants at $20,000 each. They will last for six months and run concurrently between November 30, 2011 and May 31, 2012. The five projects involve 13 University of Michigan faculty from six academic units and nine different communities (Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, Olympia, Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti, and Detroit). The principal investigators and their projects are:

  • Richard Gonzalez, Institute for Social Research: Consumer Uptake of Seamless, Multi-Modal Mobility (the New Mobility Grid): Policies and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Affecting Behavior of Users and Decision Makers
  • Jarod Kelly, School of Natural Resources & Environment: Integrated Assessment of Infrastructure Greening within Detroit for Improved Sustainable Transportation, Water Quality, and Health
  • Larissa Larsen/Joe Grengs, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning: Providing Healthy Food and Transportation Access for Lower Income Populations in Eastern Washtenaw County
  • Richard K. Norton, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning: Realigning Public Services for Sustainability & Social Equity in Kalamazoo County
  • Steve Underwood, University of Michigan-Dearborn: An Integrated Assessment of the Potential for Innovative, Disruptive Applications of Technology for Transportation to Advance Livability and Sustainability

Teams that successfully meet planning grant objectives will be invited to submit full IA proposals from which the Graham Institute will select a limited number to support at approximately $150,000 per project year over a 15 month period.

For more information, please contact: John Callewaert, Graham Institute Integrated Assessment Program Director, (734) 615-3752 or


Just before Christmas SMART partners and friends got together at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor to launch the Rockefeller-funded Catalyzing New Mobility In Cities project and to set the tone for a collaborative and productive 2012. In addition to the lively mingling we got a warm welcome from SMART leads Peter Sweatman of UMTRI, Jonathan Levine of Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, and Tom Gladwin of Ross School of Business and the Erb Institute. We heard wise words on cities and the urban poor from Benjamin de La Pena of the Rockefeller Foundation. And we got exciting updates from Matt Brest of the Alcoa Foundation; Rich Gonzalez and David Chock on the Consumer Uptake Study; Steve Gutterman and Robert Polk of Connect + Prosper, Hi Fitzgerald of MSU representing the TTRCC (Transforming Transportation Research Corridor Consortium); Megan Owens, Richard Murphy, Conan Smith of the Trans4M Coalition; Michael Ford of the AATA and more.


It was a busy holiday season and start of the year for SMART. In late December the Connect + Prosper project hosted a half day mapping and implementation meeting with key project leads across Michigan. And through December and January preparations have been underway for the Mobi Prize, the Catalyzing New Mobility Report, and project visits to the Philippines, India, China, and South Africa. Watch the next e-news for details.


SMART, Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation, is a project of UMTRI, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Its steering group represents a breadth and diversity of departments, institutes, and initiatives related to sustainable transportation at the University of Michigan.

SMART catalyzes and undertakes research, demonstration projects (living labs), education, and global learning exchange on a range of issues related to the sustainable future of transportation.


SMART ExChange–SMART’s networking site–is at

SMART is on Twitter.

SMART is on Google+.


Comments are closed.