Northam announces Virginia as recipient of Smart Cities Grant

virginiaVirginia was been selected as a recipient of a 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant. The grant program, administered by the Smart Cities Council, sought applications from across North America and selected communities that are looking to apply new smart technologies to improve community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience.

“Virginia has established itself as a pioneer in the smart community industry by launching new initiatives that integrate smart technologies into our communities and attract cutting edge companies,” said Governor Northam. “I am pleased that the Smart Cities Council has chosen the Commonwealth for this funding, which will support our efforts to make Virginia the nation’s leader in smart communities and help us build a better framework for initiatives like expanding broadband to rural areas.”

The grant will complement the efforts currently led by Virginia’s Smart Communities Working Group (VASC), a collective run by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) that helps develop best practices and policies to equip Virginia’s communities with the resources necessary to become smart communities.

“The Virginia Smart Communities Working Group is taking a ‘shared services’ approach to the implementation of smart technologies,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Esther Lee.“The goal is to cultivate a model that will enable technologies to be deployed at a greater rate, reducing the need for each community to reinvent the smart city wheel. The grant will ultimately expedite this process and allow us to improve livability, workability, and sustainability through smart technologies.”

The VASC will work the Smart Cities Council to apply its Readiness Program™ to help Virginia create a framework for its multiple initiatives, including expanding broadband throughout the state, adopting interoperability standards, setting out a cybersecurity and privacy plan, and creating sustainable funding for smart projects.

“The Center for Innovative Technology is thrilled to continue to work with the Virginia Smart Communities Working Group partners and communities across the Commonwealth,” said CIT Chief Executive Officer Ed Albrigo. “We are excited to gain the support of the Smart Cities Council and look forward to taping into their useful resources to accelerate Virginia’s smart city initiatives.”

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