Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator – Australia 2020

March 2020


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About The Event

The Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator is an invitation-only program for senior-most executives in the public sector, technology, start-up communities, and higher education. This event will be held in Australia in March of 2020. Acceptance to the Accelerator is based on the proposed team and a nomination letter by the senior-elected official for that city.

The Smart Cities Innovation Accelerators are co-developed by the Fellows from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard along with city leaders and industry expert partners. During the event, you can expect to engage in informative case studies, peer-to-peer problem-solving sessions, hands-on and topical workshops & exercises designed to help you evaluate your current state and develop a plan to make your community an innovation leader for the future.

Topics being covered during this Accelerator include:

  • Cybersecurity – every week another city is breached and data lost, ransomed or stolen. Every city has taken a different approach, from paying the ransom in a business compromise between policy, practicality, and cost, to holding out and eventually paying millions of dollars to rebuild the data and infrastructure that was compromised. As a community, we must find a solution. In this session, we will hear from city leaders on their top of mind concerns and ideas for solutions as well as industry partners seeking to create solutions that best solve this continuing problem.
  • 5G – 5G is truly upon us and rolling out this year in many areas of the globe. In this session, we will take a deep-dive into what 5G is and what it means for cities. A summary of key learnings from our Deep dive on 5G in Dublin 2019 will be presented and then we will hear from cities across Australia and New Zealand to understand the specific context, issues, opportunities and solutions for a solution to your city.
  • Mobility – Our mass transit systems are undergoing a transformation from old tickets and paper to new forms of fare collection and data collection. This transformation is being rapidly adopted for the regional and large transit authorities but is not connecting to the last mile or the micro-mobility solutions our citizens need. In this session, we will focus on the intersection of the needs and goals of mass to micro-mobility and the current needs of cities. We will focus on separating out the near term needs and the far-term opportunities and craft a framework for how we can bridge the innovation divide between mass transit into our cities and our individual citizen needs.
  • State-of-innovation – While we continue to focus on the core programs of our cities, we need to be open to the emerging areas of new opportunities and solutions. We will hear from a number of global cities on what are the emerging areas of interest and opportunities. This will include case examples and panels on what are the new ideas that perhaps you and your team haven’t seen or heard of yet.

Technology has been the driving force of global economies  – but what about cities? Cities have to develop efficient operational models to provide services and infrastructure for their citizens; however, most services and infrastructure are built on a mixture of technologies that can span decades. Moreover, the rate at which cities have adopted new technologies has been historically slow, frequently with investments that are far out of balance with other important community needs.

Elected leaders are increasingly being asked about technology in the community such as residential broadband, how to welcome driverless cars, and how to embrace citizen-empowering health technologies. Citizens have come to expect rapid development and adoption of technology in their daily lives and in their businesses; they don’t wish to see lines drawn between the enterprise and the community. For residents and visitors, the expectation is for the city to meet ever-escalating demands. How do cities innovate and leverage technology not only to provide the services citizens need but also to build a model that supports the rapid growth required to attract and sustain highly successful inhabitants?

The Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator programs help city strategic urban planners, chief innovation officers, technology officers, and economic development leaders establish strategies and an actionable digital plan for their city. The 2-day program is a hands-on, immersion accelerator for your city’s future where you will work alongside fellow city leaders, industry experts, Harvard Fellows, and researchers.

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