Grey County has been named one of the Smart21 Communities of 2017(link is external) by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The Smart21 recognizes communities that embrace technology to improve prosperity and inclusiveness. The announcement of the Smart21 was made on October 19 at the Think Canada conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as an innovative, smart, and connected community,” said Ashleigh Weeden, Project Lead for the Connected County Initiative. “We are very proud to join this elite list of global leaders who are applying digital innovation to build prosperous communities.”
The Smart21 announcement is the first stage in the ICF’s annual Intelligent Community Awards. Over the next couple of months, Grey County will participate in further review and analysis by the ICF. The Top7 intelligent communities will be announced in February with the Intelligent Community of the Year in June, 2017 in New York City.
“It’s an incredible honour to be recognized on such a prestigious list of communities from around the world,” said Grey County Warden Alan Barfoot. “Technology is an integral part of business and everyday life. Grey County is seizing the opportunities of the broadband economy so our communities can enjoy prosperous futures.”
Grey County has been actively working towards Intelligent Community recognition since 2015, making its first application to the ICF last year. Some of the innovative initiatives that helped get Grey County on the Smart21 list include:
- Municipal leadership and administrative support for the SWIFT Network
- Commitment of an additional $1 million to support the expansion of fibre optic broadband in Grey County
- The upcoming Ag 4.0 Summit and Innovation Tour
- The creation of the LaunchPad youth activity centre in the Town of Hanover
- Business education and networking events promoting technology
- MOVIN’GB Coordinated Rural Transportation Pilot
- Excellence in library-based technology training at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library
- Free WiFi pilots at County social Housing Units
- ‘Recolour Grey’ public engagement campaign and five-year review of the County Official Plan
According to the ICF, nearly 400 communities were nominated for the 2017 competition. Intelligent Community nominees are evaluated on six intelligent community indicators: broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability, and advocacy.
More information about the Intelligent Community Forum and the Intelligent Community of the Year awards can be found on their website, www.intelligentcommunity.org(link is external).
Full list of Smart21 Communities of 2017
|Grey County, Ontario||Canada||92,568|
|Knowle West, Bristol||United Kingdom||12,267|
|Nelson, British Columbia||Canada||10,532|
|New Westminster, British Columbia||Canada||71,665|
|Prospect, South Australia||Australia||19,955|
|Rochester, New York||United States||209,802|
|Sunshine Coast, Queensland||Australia||287,539|