Wednesday, 07 October 2015 20:46

QUT joins Qld cities in smart cities initiative


Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the city of Springfield have forged a collaborative partnership with the Open Data Institute Queensland (ODIQ) and the Urban Informatics Research Lab at QUT to become what they say is Australia's first region to join the ranks of international cities embracing innovation through the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) network.

The Queensland cities say the international initiative emerged from the Danish-led Connected Smart Cities Network founded five years ago to establish a mechanism through which a network of smart cities around the world could engage in long-term collaboration.

QUT's Professor Marcus Foth, initiator of the Australian contingent and founder of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, says fundamental to the success of the international initiative is the agreement to use freely-available, open source software, standard APIs and data models as well as the willingness to share experiences.

The OASC Initiative, which was announced in March, provides an opportunity for the region's industry and citizens, enabling the development of smart city applications and solutions to reach many cities at once, This dramatically increasing the market for local developers who will now have access to comparable data from around the world.

With the initiative, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Springfield will now have access to the learnings and experiences of other leading urban regions around the globe, share best practices, connect with thought leaders and benchmark performance against the international landscape.

Professor Fosh said it will provide the joint region with an opportunity to create a globally competitive environment; embracing open approaches towards technological innovation in order to enhance the experiences of residents, businesses, visitors and community groups.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Springfield, and the ODI Queensland, to establish the first Australian node of the Open and Agile Smart Cities network,” Professor Fosh said.

"The OASC principles strongly align with our lab's research findings: Smart cities require open standards to ensure interoperability and competitiveness by avoiding vendor lock-in. The OASC will enable us to benchmark performance and easy sharing of urban innovation."

Chair and founder of the OASC, Professor Martin Brynskov, from Aarhus University in Denmark, said, "There are now more than 60 cities across the world, including recognised Smart Cities such as Helsinki, Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam that are now committed to the initiative. And momentum to subscribe to open and agile standards is growing."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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