Washington, D.C. - Smart Cities Council, the sector's largest coalition, this week announced the finalists for its 2018 Readiness Challenge Competition. With an initial application pool of several dozen cities, counties and states throughout the country, the City of Aurora is one of eight finalists. Five will be selected in early March to receive mentoring as well as tailored products and services to accelerate their smart city initiatives.
"The City of Lights is becoming the City of Light Speed with a keen focus on technology," said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. "It is encouraging to know our local technology initiatives are receiving national recognition. These innovative efforts are positioning Aurora to become a new hub in the industry."
Other finalists include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Cary, North Carolina; Fairfax County, Virginia; Los Angeles, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky; and the State of Virginia.
"We are thrilled to see such a diverse set of candidates committed to making their communities more livable, workable and sustainable," said Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst. "They have already made substantial progress in developing their visions, and we are excited about working hands-on with them to bring those visions to life."
The five winning jurisdictions will receive a full year of expert, vendor-neutral mentoring, plus an on-site Readiness Workshop custom-tailored to each community's needs and priorities. They will also receive free products and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from leading organizations, including Qualcomm, Battelle, SYNEXXUS, CompTIA and IES.
"We are excited to move forward in the process,"said Aurora Director of Data and Analytics Andrew Fuerborn. "Should Aurora be awarded the grant, we will collaborate with our neighboring communities to develop a broad smart city strategy, which will include an open data portal and data analytics tools."
The 2017 Readiness Challenge Competition helped Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Newport News, Orlando and Philadelphia craft action plans to further innovation, inclusion and investment within their cities.
"Aurora is laser focused on knowledge, intelligence, innovation and sustainability," said Aurora Chief Information Officer Michael Pegues. "Without question, Aurora will become the regional leader for smart innovation systems and technologies."