Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering up $250,000 in AWS credits to local governments and their applications developers under a new program dubbed City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. The global program was designed to recognize local governments and application developers that are "innovating for the benefit of citizens" using AWS.

Between May and June, AWS and a panel of experts from organizations driving local government innovation will choose seven grand prize winners from two categories: Best Practices and Partners in Innovation. AWS will reward three local governments in the Best Practices category with $50,000 in AWS credits each, and four application developers that solve local government challenges using AWS in the Partners in Innovation category with $25,000 in AWS credits each.

"The AWS Cloud is enabling government innovation at all levels. From the United States to Singapore, Europe to Brazil, and Japan to Australia, municipal governments and their technology partners are putting their ideas to work for citizens," said Teresa Carlson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services, in a prepared statement. "We're looking forward to recognizing pioneering municipalities and partners, as well as seeing the next wave of ideas and innovations that will further transform what is possible for local and regional governments through low-cost, highly scalable, agile cloud computing services."

Entries must be received by AWS no later than May 12.

As for how AWS is judging the entries, the company noted it will be examining a variety of criteria, including the impact of the solution, likelihood of long-term success, implementation of AWS services and the potential for helping other local governments solve similar problems.

The rules for the contest can be found online.