The North Texas Innovation Alliance is a founding member of one of the largest smart cities networks in the country. The new initiative, called the National Smart Coalitions Partnership (NSCP), unites more than 100 governments across seven regional smart cities consortiums.
Uniting these networks—simultaneously with a generational investment in modernizing America’s infrastructure— can accelerate progress for all.
The NTXIA, together with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance (CSCA), The Connective, Illinois Smart City & Region Association (ISCRA), KC Digital Drive (KCDD), the Southern Arizona Smart Region, led by the Regional Partnering Center (RPC), and Smart North Florida (SNF), formalized the new initiative.
The organizations represent dozens of innovative local governments, companies, and universities that aim to advance smarter communities.
The new group of civic innovators says “the success of smart cities is dependent on collaboration, partnership, and innovation between government and solution providers. That’s something each of the regional coalitions facilitate every day.
Mega smart network
The National Smart Coalitions Partnership wants to lower the barriers to smart solutions through partnership building, best practice sharing, and education. The organization has its advantage in a national cross-sector network that can help accelerate more sustainable and resilient cities through the use of new technology tools and partnerships.
“By coming together in partnership, we can evaluate the best ways to address shared challenges, as well as the barriers that inhibit the deployment of solutions,” said Jen Sanders, executive director of North Texas Innovation Alliance.
Sanders, who launched the nonprofit NTXIA last year with Trey Bowles, says a natural place to start collaboration between geographies is sharing financial models that allow the public sector to capture revenue and increase sustainable investments in innovative programs.
The ultimate goal is to “identify approaches that will improve quality of life in cities and towns throughout the country,” she said.
“Smart regions are the new smart cities.”
The mission of the new partnership is to broaden resources and initiatives helping individual communities in their respective areas to deploy smart city technologies. As a national organization, the partnership aims to bridge gaps between local and regional tech efforts and transform them into multi-state collaborative endeavors.
“Smart regions are the new smart cities,” said Tyler Svitak, executive director of the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance.
Svitak says the National Smart Coalitions Partnership will unite “already-established regional ecosystems of civic innovators across the country to accelerate the entire smart cities industry and keep America competitive.”
Technology solutions won’t reach the scale or standardization needed to improve complex civic issues without collaboration across jurisdictions, he says.
The fast pace of emerging tech “demands collaboration across local government and across public, private, non-profit, and academic organizations,” said Aaron Deacon, managing director of KC Digital Drive, noting the value of having a network of new peer organizations to learn from and scale impact.
The National Smart Coalitions Partnership will be formally announced at a keynote presentation at the Smart Cities Connect conference in National Harbor, MD in mid-October.
The partnership plans member communications, education, events, conferences, and workshops, ultimately seeking to establish multi-region projects and joint research opportunities.
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