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A public private partnership between the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and Arrow Electronics, Inc. will result in the launch of the Colorado Open Lab. The Lab will be an Internet of Things (IoT) engineering lab for customer development showcase and innovation collaboration to fast track development of OEM IoT appliances and AI-enhanced applications, according to a news release specifying plans. The announcement of the Lab, set to open in the second quarter of 2019, and located within Arrow’s global headquarters in Centennial, CO, was made September 18, during the inaugural Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Symposium.

The Colorado Open Lab will comprise engineering facilities with the latest bench, test and edge compute equipment, a customer experience center and a live experience of Smart City showcase consisting of technologies and solutions deployed across the region. Members of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance can collaborate, discover, innovate, test and confidently validate Smart City solutions prior to deployment within their jurisdictions. According to the Arrow Electronics news announcement, the Lab has been backed by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Denver South Economic Development Partnership.

“The pace of growth in Colorado demands that we look at new models of collaboration between our companies, our cities, and our research institutions,” said John Tolva, co-founder and chairman of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance. “The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, aided by the new Colorado Open Lab, is more than an effort to rethink solutions to urban complexity,” he noted, adding, “It’s an effort to remake how we experiment, test, and scale solutions in the first place.”

“The Colorado Open Lab represents not only an opportunity to leverage leading global technology companies to tackle some of our biggest social issues, but also to redefine public-private partnerships and become a new model for the future of regional and cross-sector collaboration,” said Mike Fitzgerald, CEO, Denver South Economic Development Partnership.

Showcases will cover more than a dozen key technologies, including: Smart Street Lighting, Smart Parking, Smart Buildings, environment and resource conservation, energy resilience, infrastructure and asset management, intelligent transportation, connected and automated vehicles, public safety, agriculture, Smart City ICT Infrastructure, security and regional scalability, among others.

“The Colorado Open Lab is the latest extension of a network of open labs that Arrow is launching around the world,” said Aiden Mitchell, vice president of IoT global solutions at Arrow. “Our first open lab was in Hong Kong and has seen significant customer collaboration in both consumer and Industrial IoT,” said Mitchell. According to Mitchell, the Colorado Open Lab will build on that theme and be an advanced engineering lab for our customers, technology partners and suppliers. “The domain expertise in Smart Cities and Smart Counties will advance the deployment of technologies needed to support growth and efficiency within urban society,” Mitchell added.

Arrow Electronics guides innovation forward for over 150,000 of the world’s leading manufacturers of technology used in homes, business and daily life. With 2017 sales of $26.6 billion, Arrow aggregates electronics and enterprise computing solutions for customers and suppliers in industrial and commercial markets. The company maintains a network of more than 345 locations serving over 80 countries.

Symposium Draws Smart City Partners

The Inaugural Symposium, held on September 14, was a partnership of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and the Colorado Technology Association. According to a news release detailing the event, the program together thought leaders in smart city technology, innovation and public-private partnerships to discuss how to solve the complex urban challenges our cities face, and was attended by more than 400 participants from the enterprise, government, academia, research, impact investment, startup and nonprofit sectors.

According to planners, the Symposium’s programming recognized the need for a multifaceted approach to making Smart Cities their most successful, including through its themes of Visioning, Innovation, Leadership, and Insights, noted the event overview. Topics within each of these key areas—which includes presentations, panels, and keynote speeches—included: Exploring the New Economic Model; Empowering the Innovators of Tomorrow; Moving Ideas into Action; Turning Big Data into Citizen Benefits; and The Power of Collaboration, among others. According to the Alliance, the collective approach found within the Symposium aligns with the belief of Colorado Smart Cities Alliance Co-Founder John Tolva about how Smart Cities will thrive.

Prominent speakers and panelists on the agenda included: Sean Harrington, VP City Solutions for Verizon Wireless; Aiden Mitchell, VP & GM, IoT Global Solutions for Arrow Electronics; Amy Ford, Chief of Advanced Mobility for the Colorado Department of Transportation, State of Colorado; Eulois Cleckley, Executive Director, Department of Public Works for the City & County of Denver; Chelsea Collier, Founder of DigiCity, Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin, and Editor-at-Large for Smart Cities Connect; and Eric Drummond, CEO & Founder for the Innovation Corridor, among many others. As noted by the organization, the program addressed the policies, processes, products and projects required to realize truly connected communities. Similar to the Alliance’s mission to improve quality of life by providing a collaborative third space to design solutions for previously unsolvable city challenges, the Symposium provided attendees with tools to create a better citizen experience through multi-sector and cross-jurisdictional innovation and partnerships.

P3s Power Alliance Goals

Additional updates from the Alliance included news of public private partnerships intended to advance its mission. According to its report, "Currently, the Alliance—while still nimble and in development—is gearing up to serve as an incubator for Smart City pilot projects through its use as a living civic lab, as noted in the news release announcing the Open Lab plans. Throughout its growth over the past year, the Alliance has provided space for private and public-sector members to share resources, best-practices, and lessons learned in the Smart City arena, especially in regards to challenges faced by municipalities that cannot necessarily be addressed through traditional avenues of government procurement."

The Alliance is unique within the United States as being one of the first concerted efforts to develop and grow a connected Smart City region among diverse stakeholders and jurisdictions, which is critical in Colorado due to its vast range of urban and rural landscapes—from large metropolitan areas such as Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs, to mountain town members like Aspen, to suburban cities like Lone Tree, Greenwood Village and Littleton.

The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, according to its website, is the first and only state-wide alliance of cities, counties and regions within the country. It is a multi-jurisdictional collaboration of public, private, federal research, academic and business sector leaders committed to accelerating adoption of smart cities projects and initiatives throughout the state. As detailed in news releases issued ahead of the Symposium, the Alliance sets the standard for a new economic model. City and regional members of the Alliance cover 80 percent of Colorado’s population accounting for 95 percent of the state’s total GDP.


Quelle/Source: Smart & Resilient Cities, 25.09.2018

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