Part of the Hub’s engagement on connected communities

Melissa Cragin, Executive Director of the Midwest Big Data Hub, and Alice Delage, Program Manager and Community Liaison, were invited by Hub partner US Ignite to attend the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo and co-located US Ignite Application Summit in Kansas City on March 26-29.

Co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and US Ignite among others, the meeting was an occasion to bring together representatives from city governments, academic researchers, and industry, as well as other organizations, to the largest smart cities gathering in the US.

In addition to hearing about the latest activities in the smart communities field, this meeting was an opportunity to reconvene with the Hub’s partners, promote the MBDH at large, and plan further for the Hub’s Smart, Connected, and Resilient Communities focus area.

“This conference was very exciting – significant changes are underway in communities across the U.S., and it’s great to see so many ways that cities are including local stakeholders at every stage of projects. The value of government / industry / academic partnerships was very evident in the breadth of innovative approaches and solutions. It was also valuable to connect with several of the Hub’s partners and champions who were in attendance at the Conference, including Steering Committee member Shashi Shekhar from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), and Aaron Deacon, Managing Director at KC Digital Drive,” said MBDH Executive Director Melissa Cragin.

These thoughts were echoed by MBDH partner Chieh-Li “Julian” Chin, Visiting Research Scientist at the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for whom “partnership” is the keyword for this year’s conference:

“We hope to extend and expand our partnerships with federal agencies, University researchers, community innovators, and local government officials that we’ve successfully initiated through the Reverse Pitch program and develop an innovative and inclusive Smart Gigabit Community.”

More information on the Hub’s activities in this area can be found here.