ieee-logo_blueKC Digital Drive helps Kansas City join exclusive community of five global cities.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) announced today that it has selected Kansas City as the first U.S. city to become a Core Smart City.

IEEE (often referred to as “I-triple-E”) is a massive professional association for the computing, engineering and electronics industries. Its members are dedicated to advancing technology for human benefit, and this new designation confers major honors and benefits upon Kansas City in its quest to become a leading digital city. Kansas City was one of 15 cities worldwide that applied for Core Smart City status. Only one other city, Casablanca, Morocco, was chosen this year.

“Joining this elite group of technologically driven cities is both a recognition of our achievements to date and a signal of greater things to come,” said Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James in a press release earlier today.  “Kansas City is well-positioned for explosive growth, and being an IEEE Core Smart City will boost that impact on our economy, our city government, our schools and all our citizens.”

As an IEEE Core Smart City, Kansas City will be joining a global community of innovators and academics who produce publications, organize conferences, determine technology standards and participate in professional and educational activities. As part of the program, Kansas City’s IEEE Section (i.e. our local chapter)  will receive funding and support to launch a new smart city conference in 2016 or 2017, as well as develop tools such as whitepapers, online classes and events to highlight our city’s expertise.

Members of the organizing committee (including KC Digital Drive Managing Director Aaron Deacon) will attend the first-ever international Smart Cities Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, October 24-28, 2015, to officially launch the project, and to network and share ideas with the four other IEEE Core Smart Cities: Casablanca, Guadalajara; Trento, Italy; and Wuxi, China.

KC Digital Drive leads the organization of this effort with the City of Kansas City, Mo., in collaboration with Think Big Partners, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the IEEE Kansas City Section, and it includes a kick-off workshop planned for February 2016.

Afterward, the city will be working to define areas of focus, including education, entrepreneurship, regionalism, public safety, and economic mobility, to build the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative project in Kansas City in alignment with other strategic initiatives such as the KCMO Digital Roadmap and the Digital Playbook.

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