On February 9, 2017, Grey County was named one of the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2017 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The announcement was made at the conclusion of “The Internet of Cities Forum” in Taipei, Taiwan.
“We are incredibly honoured to be named one of the world’s Top7 Intelligent Communities,” said Alan Barfoot, Warden of Grey County. “This is an outstanding acknowledgement for our region. We face many unique challenges in our rural area and being named to the Top7 recognizes our community’s ability to face challenges head on and persevere.”
Grey County was named to the Smart21 Communities in 2016 and was invited to apply to the prestigious Top7 designation.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to compete among the world’s top seven intelligent communities,” said Savanna Myers, Manager of Economic Development for Grey County. “We have learned so much about ourselves throughout this journey and are incredibly impressed by the innovative threads weaving our region together. We have a lot to be proud of and it is thanks to the vision and action taken at all levels of the private and public sectors in Grey County.”
The Top 7 announcement is the second stage in the ICF’s annual Intelligent Community Awards, with the third and final stage of naming the Intelligent Community of the Year in June, 2017 in New York City.
The other communities named to the Top7 are:
- Chiayi City, Taiwan
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Moscow, Russia
- Taoyuan, Taiwan
Grey County has been actively working towards Intelligent Community recognition since 2015, making its first application to the ICF in 2015. Some of the innovative initiatives that helped get Grey County on the ICF’s radar 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 Shared Purchasing Consortium of Grey-Bruce
- The Ag 4.0 Summit and Innovation Tour
- The expansion of LaunchPad youth activity centre in the Town of Hanover
- The state of the art Marine Emergency Duties training and research centre at Georgian College Owen Sound Campus
- Specialist High Skills Major Programs through the Bluewater District School Board
- MOVIN’GB Coordinated Rural Transportation Pilot
- Excellence in library-based technology training at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library
- Grey County’s Sustainable Forestry Certification and Green in Grey initiative
- ‘Recolour Grey’ public engagement campaign and five-year review of the County Official Plan
- Private sector success stories highlighting innovation and growth in our region
- And more.
Intelligent Community nominees are evaluated on six intelligent community indicators: broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability, and advocacy.
Learn more about the innovative initiatives captured in the application in a ‘Road to ICF’ segment launching March 1 in the new Made in Grey Magazine.
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).
About the Intelligent Communities Forum
The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology (ICT) to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life. Learn more at www.intelligentcommunity.org (link is external).
For more information, contact Rob Hatten, Communications Officer, at email@example.com (link sends e-mail) or 519‑372‑0219 ext. 1235.