Programming will focus on smart mobility and infrastructure
National Institute of Standards and Technology Global City Teams Challenge to lead afternoon planning workshops for regional officials
2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge kick-off will include grant and financing announcements
Updates related to ongoing Smart Cities efforts in Greater Cincinnati will be highlighted
CINCINNATI, Ohio — April 25, 2018 — In 2017, the inaugural Smart Cities Summit focused on starting the conversation between stakeholders and decision makers from around the region to identify goals that will transform the Cincinnati region into a Smart City. On Thursday, April 26, at Union Hall in Over-the-Rhine, the Summit returns to highlight the progress made in the last year and to keep the momentum going.
“We have enthusiastic partners. We have committed, active stakeholders. Most importantly, we have sustained, positive momentum,” says Zack Huhn, leader of Smart Cincy and founder of Venture Smarter. “The Cincinnati Region is poised not just to contribute to the smart cities space, but to become a recognized leader within it.”
Collaborative efforts reach far beyond the walls of city hall. The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), SORTA, and the OKI Regional Council of Governments are all working with partners such as Venture Smarter and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce to launch and deploy smart cities pilot projects and scaled solutions to better connect residents and visitors to jobs, education, healthcare, and leisure. This includes launching projects such as the Smart Mobility Lab with Uber, exploring “Smart Mobility Corridors” across the region, and researching driverless vehicle programs at CVG. Other project plans are being developed in the Uptown Innovation Corridor in Avondale, and connecting the East-West corridor.
“The goal is to create a test-bed for research and innovation looking through the lens of smart and connected mobility while solving immediate needs related to mobility and quality of life,” Huhn says.
And the city of Cincinnati wants to play a leading role; in addition to the downtown fiber ring that will enable intelligent traffic systems and signals in the downtown business district, the city is close to announcing the winner of the Smart Cincy RFQ, which will create a corridor of free and inexpensive, sustainable internet connectivity along the route of the Cincinnati Bell Connector. Additionally, the city’s open data portal and Cincy Insights dashboards have helped drive smarter planning decisions resulting directly in cost savings and service enhancement across departments.
Greater Cincinnati has already become a hotbed of activity for smart cities projects. In the last two years, Cincinnati has seen new businesses and investments, new partnerships and projects, and new opportunities to collaborate:
In the city of Hamilton, a startup ecosystem focused on sustainable sanitation and water purification has taken hold;
Newport, Kentucky, was among the first cities in the country to successfully bridge the digital divide, and smartLINK’s smartKiosks are collecting data that informs smart planning decisions at the municipal level;
In Cincinnati, Cintrifuse has added smart cities as a strategic focus area and is helping to lead Smart Cincy coalition efforts to build a tech-enabled economy throughout the region;
Across the country, Cincinnati-based Venture Smarter is supporting smart governance and growth strategies everywhere from the U.S. Congress and the National Infrastructure and Investment Alliance to tech leaders such as Oracle and Cisco.
Smart Cincy has formed partnerships at every level, from small municipal governments to international industry governance organizations. Huhn acts as an advisor to the United States House of Representatives Smart Cities Caucus that launched just last month. “I am confident that the City of Cincinnati and municipalities across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana will serve as a model for small- and medium-sized communities navigating the challenges of smart city growth nationwide,” Huhn says.
New to this year’s Summit: The event will welcome leaders from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Global City Teams Challenge to lead afternoon planning workshops for regional officials. Additionally, it will serve to kick-off the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge with grant and financing announcements scheduled for 9:55 a.m. on Thursday morning. Teams will have until May 31st to submit a letter of intent (extended deadline) to compete for project support, resources and access to project financing.
“Smart Cincy is committed to making sure the community drives the conversation,” Huhn says. “That’s why tickets aren’t hundreds of dollars to attend the summit. That’s why Community Day, as well as monthly roundtable events, are free. That’s why each stakeholder group is well represented in our efforts, and that’s why community needs drive our planning decisions, mission, and strategic goals: 100 percent connected, 100 percent mobile, and 100 percent resilient.”
About Venture Smarter
Venture Smarter is innovating how leaders across industries, sectors, and agencies can work together on smart development and infrastructure projects throughout cities and regions. Venture Smarter’s founders are mission-driven industry experts coming from the White House, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the U.S. State Department, U.S. Senate Leadership, technology startups, and other leading organizations.- The company is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.
About Smart Cincy
Smart Cincy is dedicated to making Cincinnati a better place to live, work, and visit by using technology as a tool to optimize or altogether replace outdated infrastructure, policies, and digital systems. Smart Cincy is a public-private partnership in Cincinnati led by interdisciplinary and interagency collaborators from the City of Cincinnati, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Cincinnati Metro, Venture Smarter, Cintrifuse, and hundreds of collaborating businesses and organizations.