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Sonntag, 23.06.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

The Raleigh Convention Center was a hub for both digital and human networks on Wednesday as the first day of sessions convened for the Spring 2024 Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo.

The 4-day event started Tuesday with workshops and an award reception at SAS. It will wrap up Friday afternoon with a tour of the new Downtown Cary Park, highlighting IoT (Internet of Things) applications in the park. More than 1,000 attendees and 200+ presenters are expected, with participants traveling from across North America, as well as the European Union and as far away as Ethiopia.

Keynotes and Case Studies

After a welcome from Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, an opening keynote panel discussed the broad applications of AI for city leaders. Representatives from Pittsburgh, Tucson and Mesa, AZ, joined Raleigh CIO Mark Wittenburg to share their experiences and insights on how AI is transforming what’s possible for smart cities. They also closed on warnings about AI’s collection and use of personal data, as well as other types of ethical oversight that will be required for safe implementation.

The morning continued with additional keynote stories including the use of open networks and partnerships to deliver smart solutions. Case studies from Memphis and Philadelphia told the story of the transformative power of lighting to improve public safety, equity, and sustainability. And Alex Boakye, VP of Solutions Development at SAS, added more context to the AI conversation speaking about how it can be leveraged, and the importance of data and analytics.

Wednesday also included three rounds of sessions across the themes of Digital Transformation, Urban Operations, Smart Mobility, Urban Infrastructure, and Community Engagement. Case studies from cities across the U.S., including Texas, Michigan, and North Carolina demonstrated the improvements made possible by IoT, AI, analytics, and digital automation tools.

The Smart Cities Conference also includes a Startup Challenge and competitors presented to a panel of reviewers  in sessions throughout the day. Twenty companies pitched their businesses that offered improvements to operations, infrastructure, security and resliliance plans, and smart tech for air, water, and energy, among other innovations. The competition is offered in partnership with Raleigh’s RIoT and the RISE Consortium and includes startups from as far away as Australia. The winner will recieve an award and considerable bragging rights as the “top innovator” in the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge.

Finally, attendees have dedicated time each afternoon for wandering through the event’s “expo” – a massive showcase of smart services and companies. This expo features 82 exhibitors, and the largest IoT exhibition in the country, according to Richard Erb, one of the conference organizers.

“They bring remarkable ideas and they’re very smart people,” said Erb. “It’s just a showcase of solutions and amazing people doing amazing work.”

Higher Mission

For many attendees, this conference – which takes place twice a year – is an opportunity for both emerging technology demonstrations as well as continued commitment to improve communities. Of the 1,000+ atendees, more than 400 city leaders are expected.

“It’s such a great audience,” said Erb. “I think they have a feeling of a higher mission in their role and in [their] community of trying to do good and bringing good solutions to help people.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Jen McFarland

Quelle/Source: WRAL Tech Wire, 08.05.2024

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