(New York City, 3 June 2011)
– The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the Eindhoven Region of the Netherlands as the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year 2011 during its annual awards ceremony at Steiner Film Studios in Brooklyn, New York (USA). Eindhoven, which made ICF’s list of the Top Seven finalists for three consecutive years, was represented by a delegation led by Mayor Rob van Gijzel of the City of Eindhoven and Deputy Mayor Yvonne van Mierlo of the City of Helmond. ICF Co-founder Louis A. Zacharilla presented the award to Eindhoven, which succeeded Suwon, South Korea, the 2010 recipient. Representatives from Suwon were on hand to see the succession, as were officials from former recipients, including Stockholm, Sweden (2009), Gangnam, the high-tech district in Seoul (2008), Waterloo, Canada (2007), Taipei (2006), and Glasgow (2004). Click here to watch the video
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ICF also honored Suvi Linden, Finland’s Minister of Communications and Commissioner of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development, as its Visionary of the Year
. The award was presented in recognition of her commitment, through recent legislation passed in Finland, to ensuring affordable broadband access for every citizen and her leadership of the movement to use broadband for economic and human development
The awards are presented by the independent think tank as part of its annual summit, Building the Broadband Economy. The annual invitation-only conference was attended by 275 thought leaders from around the world. The event is produced in association with the Institute for Technology & Enterprise at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. The goal of the awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband communications and information access technologies play in shaping the economic and social development of communities worldwide. Mayors, city managers, CIOs, and executives of leading technology companies from around the world, as well as academics and urban planners, are part of the Intelligent Community movement and were on hand throughout the three-day program (www.icfsummit.com
).Intelligent Community of the Year 2011: Eindhoven, The NetherlandsThe Eindhoven Region
, south of Amsterdam, has long been the industrial center of Holland, with 730,000 inhabitants and a workforce of 400,000. Eindhoven generates €24 billion of GDP and €55 billion in exports, one-quarter of the Dutch total. It is a manufacturing center in a high-cost country. By focusing on producing high-value, technology-based products, it is in competition with fast-growing manufacturing centers in nations with much lower costs. At the same time, however, Eindhoven is saddled with demographics familiar to Europe and much of the West, in which a low birth rate and aging population is reducing the regional labor force. To win the battle for the talent that provides its competitive advantage, the region must make itself economically and socially attractive to knowledge workers from around the world and concentrate on innovation.
Eindhoven’s answer to these challenges is a public-private partnership called Brainport Development. Its members include employers, research institutes, the Chamber of Commerce, the SRE, leading universities and the governments of the region’s three largest cities. A small professional staff meets regularly with stakeholders to identify their strengths, needs and objectives, then looks for opportunities for them to collaborate on business, social or cultural goals. Its range of projects includes broadband deployment and applications, workforce development, digital inclusion, marketing and advocacy for the region – and especially innovation.
In healthcare – the theme of the 2011 ICF summit – the region already has nearly 825 businesses active in the sector, which employ 17,000 people. To drive further growth, Brainport created a project called Brainport Health Innovation (BHI). Its goals are to foster increased well-being for the elderly and chronically ill, to reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity, and to do so while generating economic opportunities for the region.
The total cost of regional healthcare is forecast