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Intelligent Community Forum Announces 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year
Top Seven are Finalists in the Prestigious Intelligent Community of the Year Award Process
 
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:00 am

(Honolulu, Hawaii & New York, New York, January 20, 2010) – The Intelligent Community Forum named its 2010 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year today at a luncheon ceremony taking place at PTC'10 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (13:30 HAST, 18:30 EST, 23:30 GMT).  Click here to watch a video of the announcement. The Top Seven announcement is the second stage of ICF’s annual Intelligent Community awards cycle. 

The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year
The following communities, drawn from the Smart21 of 2010, were named to the Top Seven based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts:

  • Arlington County, VA, USA. Originally part of Washington DC, Arlington County is deeply integrated into the economy of the US capital.  For nearly four decades, it has worked to make the most of its economic ties to Federal government while maintaining an independent identity, high quality of life and educational excellence in a diverse community where students speak over 100 languages and come from 128 nations.  Arlington has two competitive broadband carriers delivering data, voice and video services, who also provide free fiber-based services to County facilities and all schools.  E-government services running on this platform include e-book access, award-winning public-access television programming, Web streaming, RSS feeds and online tax collection.  A highly ranked school system sends more than 90% of graduates to college or university, many of them local, and focuses on retaining students through a professional internship program, career and vocational centers and the Arlington Teen Portal, which offers social networking, news, employment and interning opportunities, and career counseling. 
  • Dublin, Ohio, USA. The city of Dublin calls itself “home to 3,000 businesses.”  These include Fortune 500 companies, yet the average Dublin business has only seven employees, so numerous are innovative small firms.  Dublin estimates that 100% of new jobs created each year require some ICT knowledge and skill.  To meet that need, the community invests in continuing education and retraining, as well as basic IT skills classes.  Dublin is also a lead partner in managing an Ohio State grant that provides coaching, mentoring and early-stage funding to new businesses, which led BusinessWeek magazine to name Dublin the Best Small City in Ohio for Start-ups.
  • Dundee, Scotland, UK.  In 1991, the city of Dundee began a comeback from decades of post-industrial decline with the founding of The Dundee Partnership, a public-private joint venture that rebuilt the waterfront and led development of a knowledge economy.  Today, the city is known for its clusters of life science, computer gaming, software and animation companies.  Dundee has also become the home of an annual Dare to be Digital competition that brings talented young developers to the city to showcase video game prototypes.  The 3i group is investing £30 million in laying fiber optic cable throughout the city sewer network.  While the recession has trimmed overall employment 2% from 2004 to 2009, employment in the knowledge economy grew 5% over the period.
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands. The Eindhoven metropolitan area has long been the industrial heart of the Netherlands.  In the past ten years, it has gained more than 30,000 new jobs and been among the top three regions in Europe for new patents.  The number of business starts per year has grown 275% since 2000, and the region has become Holland's second biggest export hub after Rotterdam, which is the largest seaport in Europe.  At a time when so much manufacturing has moved to lower-cost locations, much of the credit for Eindhoven’s success goes to Brainport, a public-private organization that operates an open and flexible platform for innovation.  Broadband and IT have been at the heart of this innovation engine from the beginning, and it is being used in creative ways to maintain a high quality of life.      
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The resilience of the Ottawa model stems from clear strategy, robust broadband for all, multiple public-private partnerships, and a relentless focus on education and start-ups.  A new Ottawa Innovation Strategy is being developed to fast-track job, business and investment creation.  After public-private investments extended broadband to rural areas, 75% of business owners there believe that connectivity has improved their sales and profitability.  The partnerships and programs, led by the Ottawa Centre for Research & Innovation, are almost too many to count.  Universities offer entrepreneurship training to faculty members, and graduate and undergraduate programs in computer games, sustainable energy engineering, animation and IT.  One program funded by a venture capital firm pairs new graduates with seasoned entrepreneurs to bring new technology for market in as little as one year. 
  • Suwon, South Korea. Suwon responded to the 1997 financial crisis that swept Asia with ambitious goals and sweeping plans to adapt its economy to prosper in the 21st Century.  Local government launched a major e-government effort to reduce costs, improve access to information and better serve citizens.  Today, residents and businesses go online for one-stop access to taxation, property registration, welfare, environmental and other services over Suwon’s wired and wireless broadband network offering 10-100 Mbps speeds to 100% of residents and organizations.  The city has also poured resources and effort into lifelong education.  With the largest municipal education budget in South Korea, Suwon renovated libraries and IT centers and hired large numbers of English-language teachers to equip students with the world’s business language.  Finally, Suwon focused economic development efforts on small-to-midsize companies (SMEs) through a series of industrial complexes and incubators focusing on nanotechnology, biotechnology, electronics, green tech and software.  
  • Tallinn, Estonia. In the first decade of the new century, Estonia became known as one of the “Baltic Tigers” for its high rate of economic growth after decades of stagnation under Soviet rule.  Its capital city of Tallinn was epicenter of the transformation, which was based on sound financial and regulatory reform and devotion to making Estonia one of the most connected nations on earth. But when the Great Recession struck Tallinn in 2008, it threatened to undo the decade of advances.  Tallinn’s response was typical: to continue driving forward with its Tallinn Development Plan of 2009-2013, which focuses on talent development, international partnerships and innovative urban planning.  To lessen the impact of recession, the city also put into place over 40 short-term programs, including grants for job creation, rent relief for job-creating companies, start-up and training support for entrepreneurs, and the introduction of entrepreneurship fairs.  Tallinn also redoubled the educational collaboration between government, institutions and business, which made it possible to renovate 85% of public schools and start youth entrepreneurship programs that connect talented young people with business mentors to help build the next generation of successful local companies.

More information is available on ICF’s Web site from the Awards menu.  Complete profiles of the communities will be available on ICF's Web site following publication of the white paper, The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2010.

Click here to watch a video of the announcement.

“The Top Seven of 2010 have demonstrated ingenuity through innovative broadband applications and dedication to education,” said ICF Co-founder Louis Zacharilla who presented the Top Seven during the annual PTC conference in Hawaii.  “Each of these communities was affected by the recession, yet they pushed forward with their commitment to broadband, innovation and a knowledge-based economy through investments in research and development facilities, the creation and aggressive support of small business and “clusters” of industries that continued to produce new jobs." 

The awards cycle concludes in New York City in May during ICF’s annual Building the Broadband Economy Summit, where one of the Top Seven will succeed Stockholm, Sweden as Intelligent Community of the Year.

About ICF
The Intelligent Community Forum is a New York-based think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community.  Whether in industrial or developing nations, communities are challenged to create prosperity, stability and cultural meaning in a world where jobs, investment and progress increasingly depend on broadband communications.  The Intelligent Community Forum seeks to share best practices and offer research and insights into the success of the world's Intelligent Communities.  ICF conducts research, hosts events, publishes reports and newsletters and produces an international awards program.  ICF has partnered with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University since 2005.  The Intelligent Community Forum was founded by Robert A. Bell, John G. Jung and Louis A. Zacharilla. 

Contacts:
Louis Zacharilla
ICF Co-Founder
lzacharilla@intelligentcommunity.org
+1 212-249-0624
In Hawaii during the announcement

Orly Konig Lopez
Communications Manager
orly@intelligentcommunity.org
+1 240-425-3283


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