The rapid rise of digital transformation amongst businesses has accelerated the adoption and use of innovative technologies of all types, such as devices, applications, and software. While each technology is finding a niche and greatly benefiting that situation, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one “device” that is quickly spreading throughout all industries, improving processes and creating new opportunities anywhere the technology goes.
While relatively new to the game, IoT is already booming, as according to the latest research, the number of IoT-connected devices globally reached 11.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase quickly. Some studies predict the number of devices to steadily increase, reaching 22 billion by 2025, but a new Gartner research expects the total number of IoT devices to have already crossed over 25 billion by the start of 2022.
The swift, substantial growth can be attributed to the fact that IoT has a variety of benefits that can range from helping governments reduce healthcare costs and improving quality of life to reducing carbon footprints, increasing access to education in remote, underserved communities, and improving transportation safety. IoT is even driving the growth of full industries, most notably the SMART industry.
The word “SMART” refers to “self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology,” which is a technology that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analysis to provide cognitive awareness to objects that were in the past considered inanimate. With the help of IoT, SMART technology has a wide variety of applications, but the most prominent today is the smart city.
A smart city uses information and communication technology (ICT) to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare. The main goal is to optimize city functions and promote economic growth while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.
There are already 174 smart cities worldwide, but only 12 within the United States. The global smart cities market size is currently USD 410.8 billion, but it’s expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.8 percent, reaching USD 820.7 billion by 2025. With such steady expected growth, more organizations today are increasingly looking for ways to enter the smart city sector and reap the benefits of the new, burgeoning industry.
Recently, Smart City Works Venture Studio (SCWVS) announced that Civic Infrastructure Collaborative (CIC) will be joining as an Agency Member of the Smart City Works Venture Studio to further efforts regarding urban infrastructure innovation. CIC is the fourth member to join SCWVS and looks to engage in identifying key trends and opportunities in infrastructure where technology and associated innovative processes can make a difference in how infrastructure is developed, deployed, and maintained in terms of quality accessibility, equity, cost, and sustainability.
“We are excited to have CIC joining Smart City Works Venture Studio,” said Don DeLoach, Co-Founder of SCWVS. “The alignment is remarkable. We share a belief in the value of innovation to make a material impact on our cities and infrastructure. There are certainly a growing number of startups focusing on innovation in construction and infrastructure, yet the failure rate remains very high. Smart City Works Venture Studio, working alongside CIC and the growing list of other members in the studio, are committed to working together to helping startups bring innovation forward successfully on their path to scalable, repeatable commercialization.”
The Smart City Works Venture Studio helps build startups for the cyber-physical infrastructure world by providing a team of experienced entrepreneurs who have substantial experience in IoT and infrastructure, product development, business planning, customer acquisition, finance, and venture capital, as well as industry-specific expertise in smart cities, construction, smart buildings, mobility, energy, and the environment.
The studio itself is a joint initiative between Smart City Works Venture Labs, a next-generation business accelerator focused on urban infrastructure, and Rocket Wagon Venture Studios, the parent organization that provides the architectural cyber-physical framework including considerations regarding devices, security, privacy, data governance and ownership, communications, and a broad range of analytics, as well as shared legal and financial services, underlying operational systems, and corporate relationships.
Their newest partner, the Civic Infrastructure Collaborative (CIC), is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to unlocking public and private value from urban infrastructure. Harnessing transformational tools and technologies like connectivity, electrification, urban systems integration, and adaptive reuse, CIC works across industries and sectors to meet urgent needs and foster vibrant cities.
CIC and its predecessor organization City Tech have a high-impact track record in key infrastructure sectors, including transportation and mobility, water management, energy, telecommunications, and COVID-19 recovery in shared urban spaces.
They work with asset owners, operators, technology providers, public officials, and residents to develop and implement place-based infrastructure solutions. The organization will harness important trends like digitization, connectivity, urban systems integration, and adaptive reuse to identify new roles that urban infrastructure assets can play and new sources of value for the communities they serve.
“This partnership among Civic Infrastructure Collaborative, Smart City Works Venture Studio, and the Studio’s growing membership underscores the opportunity to reinvent cities through focused innovation,” according to Jamie Ponce, CIC’s Executive Director. “Working together, public, private, and civic institutions can make good on the promise of technology to make cities happier, healthier, and more productive.”
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.