Network Elevation: Raising the Bar for Smart Cities in Colorado
The research and business communities of Colorado Springs are coming together to ensure that this city becomes a hotbed of new tech, where the springs of innovation never run dry.
At the base of Pike’s Peak, standing over 1.6 km above sea level, the city of Colorado Springs is situated at a great height. As a source of research brainpower and successful high-tech manufacturing, it’s also high on the list of American cities with the potential to be massively influential innovation centers. The people of Colorado Springs aren’t content to let this potential go to waste—which is why city leaders, university researchers, Air Force Academy representatives, and local entrepreneurs have come together to form SmartCOS, a program seeking to turn “The Springs” into a bona fide smart city.
In partnership with the Southern Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce and Catalyst Campus, a local nonprofit promoting engagement for small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups in the aerospace and defense ecosystem, SmartCOS is working with US Ignite to help bring Colorado Springs to brand new heights. Like other communities across the country, Colorado Springs faces challenges including strained public finances, aging infrastructure, and homelessness. There is enthusiasm and interest in developing ultra-high-speed internet connections to develop applications that could make the city safer, more energy efficient, and more attractive to business development and economic growth.
These applications are already making an impact in local policing (body-worn cameras for police can be more quickly uploaded by connection to an ultra-fast network) and on the road (electric vehicle charging stations are being implemented more efficiently). In the coming year, the city is looking forward to implementing a smart bike share program, as well as additional projects to be identified following a strategy development process with new lead industry partner Panasonic CityNOW.
Looking toward the future, SmartCOS will be hosting regular activities to continue to promote local development of their smart city ecosystem through Reverse Pitches, hackathons, and other collaborative events with regional stakeholders.
Smart Sound Bite
"This will enable the community to have the network and applications needed to give citizens more access to data, to allow the city to better monitor and control water, power and other services, and open new ways of learning in public education. I can't think of a better community in which to do this with the connections that already exist between the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Air Force Academy, the mayor, women's chamber, entrepreneurs and the Catalyst Campus.”—Sue Spradley, CEO, Motion Intelligence