NEWS RELEASE FROM SOUTH ISLAND PROSPERITY PROJECT:
Victoria, BC — The value of collaboration was evident as Greater Victoria edged out more than 126 cities across Canada to be named one of 10 finalists in Infrastructure Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge competition in the $10 million prize category. The win awards South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) with $250,000 in federal funds to further develop a proposal to compete for a $10 million prize. Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement today at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference in Halifax.
The Smart South Island Prosperity Project submission was selected over other submissions by BC communities including Nanaimo, Campbell River, Langford, Kelowna, Penticton, and Abbotsford.
“Being shortlisted for this significant opportunity to bring $10 million in funding to our region is validation of the power of public and private collaboration. Even two years ago, before achieving this level of regional collaboration, this concept wouldn’t have been possible. The possibilities now are endless,” says South Island Prosperity Project CEO Emilie de Rosenroll. “By working together and aligning our vision for a smarter and more prosperous future, we all benefit from new ways of using smart technology and data to improve our lives and wellbeing.”
In 2017, the Government of Canada announced the Smart Cities Challenge, a competition designed to inspire communities to submit their best strategies and plans for improving the lives of local residents through the use of innovation, data, and connected technology. The South Island Prosperity Project submitted their proposal in April on behalf of its regional stakeholders—including 10 local governments, five First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, seven industry associations and non-profits, and 17 major employers.
SIPP also engaged feedback from over fifty active businesses, nonprofit, academic, and government participants in various committees, held dozens of information sessions, and engaged over 600 citizens in public symposiums.
“Congratulations to the South Island Prosperity Project for securing $250,000 in federal funding,” said B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston. “This smart transportation proposal has the potential to improve people’s quality of life through the use of technology to create a more efficient transportation system for South Island residents.”
The local proposal includes three initiatives designed to address citizen wellbeing and economic resilience with more convenient, diversified, and sustainable transportation solutions to leverage what is commonly known as ‘smart’ technology and data. The full proposal can be viewed at Smartsouthisland.ca.
The Government of Canada is awarding one prize of up to $50 million to a large city, two prizes of up to $10 million open to all communities with populations under 500,000 people, and one prize of up to $5 million open to First Nations or communities with populations under 30,000 people. Winners will be announced in the winter of 2019. Read the full release from Infrastructure Canada here.
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ABOUT SOUTH ISLAND PROSPERITY PROJECT
The South Island Prosperity Project (SIPP) is the economic development organization for Greater Victoria, B.C., comprised of 42 members, including 10 local governments, five First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, seven industry associations and non-profits, and 17 major employers, all working together to bolster our region’s economic and social prosperity. This will happen by catalyzing the creation of high-quality, household-sustaining jobs, so that more families can afford to live, work and build a life here.
SIPP’s mission is to facilitate and promote the development of a strong, regionally diversified economy on South Vancouver Island. www.southislandprosperity.ca