The City of Aurora has been named a Top 100 Finalist for the 2018 Chicago Innovation Awards.
During a special reception held in Chicago with the 519 nominees, the Chicago Innovation Awards committee selected Aurora as one of the Top 100 Finalist to advance in the annual competition that recognizes innovators in the region.
Judges will select the final winners in 5 categories. The general public can vote for a People’s Choice Award winner by visiting https://chicagoinnovation.com/peoples-choice-award-voting/. Supporters of the City of Aurora are encouraged to vote by October 5. Aurora is listed in the Neighborhood Awards category on the voting site.
“We are honored to be named a finalist in the Chicago Innovation Awards,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “Our IT team has been focused on innovation in technology since we took office nearly 500 days ago. So much progress has been made and many national collaborations have been formed during the process. As we continue to grow as a technology leader in the region, nods like this from the Chicago Innovation Awards prove we are on the right track.”
The City of Aurora was nominated for its fiber optic network - operated by OnLight Aurora- which has enhanced the business climate of the state’s second largest city while serving the connectivity needs of Aurora’s schools, healthcare providers, social service agencies and other community anchor institutions. In addition, the City’s commitment to technology, improvements in the IT Department and plans for an Open Data Portal were significant factors in the decision of the panel of judges.
"Fiber is the fourth utility and our fiber optic network is one of Aurora’s greatest assets,” said Aurora’s Chief Information Officer Michael Pegues. “Mayor Irvin has set an ambitious goal to make the City of Aurora a regional technology hub, and our IT team and partners are diligently driving these smart city efforts.”
The Top 100 Finalists will each be awarded a scholarship to “The Practical Innovator” at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Valued at $2,500, this day-long education course teaches the practical skills of innovation at its internationally known executive education facility.
Winners will be announced at the 17th annual Chicago Innovation Awards held at Chicago’s Harris Theater on Monday, October 29, with nearly 1,500 business and civic leaders, and supporters of innovation in attendance.
Last year, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora won a 2017 Chicago Innovation Award for its IN2 Innovation Center.