City Leaders Say Ottawa Could Be Canada’s Beacon for “Smart Communities”
OTTAWA, Ontario - Jan. 20, 2016 - PRLog -- Ottawa’s business and community leaders say Ottawa has all the attributes to be the country’s leading Smart Community and sustain its prosperity in a global economy based on innovation.
A Smart Community has been defined as a collaborative, entrepreneurial area of higher employment, effective education, satisfactory recreation and better health care while making more efficient use of infrastructure and resources.
“A Smart Community powers innovation - the top 750 cities will create two-thirds of the world’s GDP by 2030,” said Bruce Lazenby, President & CEO of Invest Ottawa. “Their prosperity is increasingly driven by brainpower and innovation; in fact in some countries like the U.K., innovation accounts for two-thirds of all economic growth.”
Results from a recent study of Ottawa’s ecosystem have established that the city is already better than the Canadian average for smart communities. Community leaders believe this sets the stage to leverage innovation as the key to creating jobs and wealth. Mr. Lazenby points to Silicon Valley as a key example: “Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says that innovation is the only true way to create value. It is vital that Ottawa become known as a world-competitive Smart Community that sparks an exemplary Innovation Economy.”
Invest Ottawa has undertaken two Surveys on Ottawa’s perception of itself as a Smart and Innovative community. Highlights show that:
* Ottawa exceeds Canadian averages for innovation.
* Talent, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, cooperation were given high marks.
* Two-thirds gave good marks to the success of the community’s businesses, government and not-for-profit institutions in creating dynamic partnerships to foster innovation within the community.
* Most thought Ottawa had good community programs for enhancing digital (data) skills and increasing the knowledge-work constituency of the workforce.
* Three-quarters praised the intensity and effectiveness of collaboration between private businesses and civic institutions in their efforts towards a more vibrant, Smart and innovative community.
Challenges: Need for more innovation focus, better communications
While acknowledging the strength of its current level of innovation, 40% worried that there is not enough innovation happening to sustain competitiveness in the future, and two-thirds think the community does not see innovation as a top priority. Concern also exists about the city’s communications networks, with a majority saying that mobile services like wifi were limited or just average.
According to Sorin Cohn, Leader of Innovation Metrics for the Centre for Business Innovation with The Conference Board of Canada, the Ottawa Surveys are the first time that metrics have been used to measure the alignment of innovation culture with business goals and the market impact of their innovation investments:
Two Surveys were undertaken: a Smart Community Study that measured Ottawa’s evolution towards a knowledge-based economy, and a companion Innovation Study that measured the multi-dimensional competitiveness of Ottawa companies according to how they are positioned against their primary competitors and the effectiveness of their innovation management practices.
Invest Ottawa delivers economic development programs and initiatives that increase entrepreneurial momentum, wealth and jobs in the City of Ottawa and its surrounding region. Its goal is to make Ottawa the most innovative City in Canada.
For more information please contact:
Communications Manager, Invest Ottawa