LETHBRIDGE – The Intelligence Community Forum, an international think tank out of New York, has released its top 21 ‘smart communities’, and Lethbridge is on the list.
Economic Development Lethbridge says the recognition is largely thanks to a new community wide initiative called IntelligentYQL . The initiative aims to prepare the city for the future through accessible broadband connectivity, innovation and digital inclusion. It will be implemented through a four year plan.
“It was our objective to be recognized as an intelligent community over this four year journey,” said Economic Development Lethbridge chief executive officer, Trevor Lewington. “To already be in the top 21 right out of the gate is pretty exciting.”
Lethbridge is known as a hotspot for entrepeneurs in the IT sector, which saw employment growth of 100% between 2012 and 2013 and it is still on the rise. A good example of that is ‘tecconnect’ – an office facility equipped with a powerful, Tier 3 data centre for companies wanting to get a technological edge. The tecconnect website boasts, “74 jobs created and at least 80% of the companies in tecconnect were started by or employ grads from our local post-secondary institutions.”
“The fact that we’re beside a Tier 3 data centre… when we talk about that, a lot of people don’t understand how really significant that is,” said Rick Johnston, President and CEO of Autovance Technologies, a new tech company housed in the tecconnect facility. “That’s not something that a lot of cities in the 100,000 people neighbourhood have.”
Autovance one of more than 70 IT/geospatial related companies taking advantage of the city’s tech-friendly environment. It is a trend Economic Development Lethbridge wants to continue and extend to other businesses outside of the IT sector.
“Technology is really an enabler for every business and every sector today. I think most people recognize that it’s a technology driven future and we want to make sure that Lethbridge is built for the future,” said Lewingston.
The Intelligent Community Forum is revealing it’s Top 7 intelligent communities on February 10, 2016.
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