Sunday, April 21, 2024

Grey County Makes Intelligent Community Forum Smart21 Shortlist for Third Time

For the second consecutive year and third time since 2017, Grey County has been named one of the world’s Smart21 communities of the year by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The announcement came on March 20 at the Smart Cities and Intelligent Communities conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

We’re thrilled to once again be featured on a global stage for the work our communities are doing to leverage technology to make our Grey County a great place to call home,” said Grey County Warden Brian Milne. “Being named a Top21 community for a second straight year is proof we’re not just talking the talk; we’re walking the walk.”

The ICF’s annual Intelligent Community of the Year competition recognizes communities that embrace technology to realize economic, social, and cultural growth. Intelligent Community nominees are evaluated on six indicators: broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability, and advocacy.

Grey County was first named to the Top21 intelligent communities in 2016 and went on to achieve a Top7 designation in February 2017. Grey County reapplied to the forum in 2023 and was again named to the Top21 communities for that year.

Grey County’s submission to the ICF featured a combination of County-lead projects and partner initiatives, including the Sydenham Campus and partnerships with Georgian College. Sydenham Campus is an entrepreneurial and innovation hub supporting workforce development. Georgian College offers a broad and expanding number of programs. Many of the programs have been developed to target the specific needs in our region, such as growing apprenticeship programs, the expanded nursing wing and newly offered RPN-to-RN nursing degree program.

Other organizations and programs supporting Grey County as an intelligent community include the Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership, the YMCA, Nuclear Innovation Institute, Supportive Outreach Services and more.

Becoming an intelligent community can’t happen in a vacuum. It takes collaboration. Grey County can show leadership and make investments, but we need partners coming together with shared goals if we are to be successful in moving our region forward, creating more opportunities without leaving people behind,” explained Grey County’s director of economic development, Savanna Myers. “Being named to the Top21 isn’t just an achievement for Grey County, it’s an achievement for all the people, businesses, institutions and volunteers who are committed to making our region a more prosperous place.”

The selection of the Smart21 Communities marks the semi-finalist phase in ICF’s annual program. For the next step, Grey County will work with the ICF to provide more detailed information about the community. From this data, ICF will select seven communities to be named in June to the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2024. Top7 communities will welcome the ICF for a tour and compete for the title of Intelligent Community of the Year at the 2024 ICF Global Summit in November.

The Smart21 Communities of 2024 include communities from around the globe. Durham Region, Ontario, Marham Ontario, and Coquitlam, Fredericton, New Brunswick, British Columbia join Grey County as Canadian communities.

The full list of communities includes:

Assaí, Paraná, Brazil

Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Coral Gables, Florida, USA

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

Defiance, Ohio, USA

Doral, Florida, USA

Durham Region, Ontario, Canada

Fairfield/Jefferson County, Iowa, USA

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Greater Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Grey County, Ontario, Canada

Hilliard, Ohio, USA

Izmir, Turkey

Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain

Markham, Ontario, Canada

Pingtung County, Taiwan

Ponta Grossa, Paraná, Brazil

Taitung County, Taiwan

Warner Robins, Georgia, USA

Woodstock, Georgia, USA

Yunlin County, Taiwan

More information about the ICF can be found on their website, www.intelligentcommunity.org.

The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a thinktank at its centre. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life. Learn more at www.intelligentcommunity.org.

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