Media Release

Winnipeg Once Again Named One of the Top 21 "Smart Cities" in Global Competition

October 25, 2012: Winnipeg, MB – For the third consecutive year, Winnipeg has earned a coveted spot on the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of Smart21 Communities. This year’s competition attracted hundreds of submissions from around the world. The 21 diverse communities honoured include seven from North America, eight from Asia, five from Europe, and one from Latin America. Winnipeg joins just three other Canadian cities—all from Ontario—to have been awarded this designation, including Kingston, Stratford, and Toronto.

“To be recognized as a smart community for the third year in a row is a great honour,” said Mayor Sam Katz. “Winnipeg is a community that embraces innovation and I’m glad that we are receiving recognition in this global competition.”

The Smart21 announcement is the first stage of ICF's annual Intelligent Community Awards cycle, which is followed by the naming of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year (selected from among the 21). The awards program salutes the accomplishments of communities in developing inclusive prosperity built on a foundation of information and communications technology.

Intelligent communities represent models of economic and social transformation.  They are not necessarily the world’s most advanced technology centers, the most wired cities, or the fastest-growing economies. Instead, intelligent communities embrace best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion, and advocacy in ways that offer inspiration to other jurisdictions around the world. ICF’s designated adjudication committee considers these key indicators—and how they are weaved together in addressing an annual theme—to determine which communities merit recognition as a Smart21 Community. This year’s theme asked applicants to consider the relationship between innovation and employment.

Winnipeg’s submission showcased the city’s broad-based innovation platform and the ways in which it has proven instrumental in assembling regional, national, and international partnerships. Featured narratives describe the pivotal role public and private research and development facilities now play in maximizing Winnipeg’s advantages within the global economy. Specific initiatives in this regard include the National Research Council Institute for Biodiagnostics, the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, and TRLabs Winnipeg. Also examined was the importance of local technology business incubators, among them the Eureka Project, Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc., and the Composites Innovation Centre. 

“Winnipeg’s recognition as a global smart community is tremendously gratifying,” said Marina R. James, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “The fact that ICF has bestowed this honour on our city for three straight years indicates that Winnipeg’s diverse stakeholders are working well together to achieve outcomes that will translate into prosperity for all our citizens. A Smart21 designation elevates our city on the world stage and demonstrates that Winnipeg is a place where leadership, collaboration, and sustainability coalesce in measurable, meaningful ways that will allow us to continue to innovate and compete on a global scale.”


About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the lead economic development agency for the city of Winnipeg. Led by a private-sector board with core funding from the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba, EDW facilitates investment, capacity building, partnership, tourism development, marketing, and the management of market information for Winnipeg. EDW targets sector development, promotes Winnipeg’s diverse economy and high quality of life, and leads global business attraction—and local business retention and expansion—with its Yes! Winnipeg business development team. Through its Tourism Winnipeg division, EDW facilitates a healthy, prosperous, responsible, and fully integrated tourism industry that further enhances the city of Winnipeg’s economic growth.    

About the Intelligent Community Forum
Whether in industrial or developing nations, all communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability, and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment, and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications. For the 21st Century community, connectivity is a double-edge sword: threatening established ways of life on the one hand, and offering powerful new tools to build prosperous, inclusive economies on the other. The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities in adapting to the demands of the Broadband Economy by conducting research, hosting events, publishing books and newsletters, and producing an international awards program.

For further information, please contact:

Croft Petersmeyer, Project Manager,
Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Phone: 204.954.1961

Intelligent Community Forum Contact:
Paul Brent
Senior Communications Strategist
market2world communications inc.
Phone: 613.256.3939


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