Smart Cities Incubator – Innov8te – to Launch in Dallas’ West End to Support Emerging Technologies Driving Urban Transformation

Smart Cities Incubator – Innov8te – to Launch in Dallas’ West End to Support Emerging Technologies Driving Urban Transformation

Founding collaborators include The DEC Network, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, The University of Texas at Dallas and the Dallas Innovation Alliance. 

DALLAS, TX February 14, 2019 – Today, The DEC Network[“The DEC”], announced a new smart cities incubator in its flagship West End location focused on supporting entrepreneurs and early-stage companies in sectors supporting urban and civic transformation. Founding public, private and academic collaborators include AT&TCisco,Microsoft, the University of Texas at Dallas(UT Dallas) and the Dallas Innovation Alliance. This incubator’s presence in the Dallas Innovation District and Smart Cities Living Lab continues to drive a focus on smart city technology research and development for the region. 

 “We are excited to launch the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator out of our West End location,” stated Alyce Alston, CEO, The DEC Network. “We are grateful for the cooperation of these leading companies and universities in the Smart Cities space. And we are thrilled to support the great work that the Dallas Innovation Alliance has done in partnership with the City of Dallas and its collaborators through the Smart Cities Living Lab and the Dallas Innovation District. We look forward to bringing our background and experience in helping to accelerate startups through education, mentorship, and community to this important initiative.”

By taking a regional approach, the incubator’s mission is to support and highlight the burgeoning DFW ecosystem of companies focused on building products and technologies in sub-sectors including data analytics and visualization, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, blockchain, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and beyond. The application of these technologies seeks to improve eight areas of civic innovation: 

1.    Citizen Engagement/Services

2.    Equity/Inclusion

3.    Infrastructure

4.    Governance

5.    Mobility

6.    Public Health/Healthcare

7.    Public Safety 

8.    Sustainability

“We have appreciated our partnership with The Dallas Innovation Alliance over the past three years,” stated Hugh Miller, Chief Information Officer at the City of Dallas. “We believe the creation of the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator will create new ways for the city to engage with emerging tech companies developing cutting edge solutions addressing our city’s greatest challenges and opportunities for growth to secure the future of our region.”

Participating startups will receive exclusive access to education, mentorship, networking, programming, products and services, connections to leading corporations and access to capital channels. Programs and events open to the larger community will also be offered by the incubator.

 “Through our work with the Dallas Innovation Alliance and Innovation District, we’ve had a front-row seat for Dallas’ entrepreneurial and civic innovation enabled by smart cities technology,” said Mike Zeto, vice president and general manager of smart cities, AT&T. “By providing resources, education and training to the Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator, we can empower bright minds in our city to address today’s greatest challenges and effectively grow the smart city solutions marketplace.”

“Microsoft continues to support our focus on Smart Cities and IoT solutions in North Texas” commented Raamel M. Mitchell, Director of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft. “We are excited to support and participate in Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator created by The DEC Network”. 

“Innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand,” said Steve Guengerich, clinical associate professor at UT Dallas’s Jindal School of Management and lead for the university’s Innov8te partnership. “Our students and alumni are increasingly proposing new ventures in the Innov8te civic innovation themes. Further, our research faculty, led by the Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science, is already a leader in IoT and other baseline areas of smart cities innovation. We are excited to bring these UT Dallas stakeholders together, through joint education and projects at Innov8te, with the other founding collaborators.” 

Applications and additional details are available through at the spring, details on additional partnerships and programs, and formal launch timing will be announced. Please follow progress at @theDECtx, @Innov8te #SmartCitiesIncubator and @DallasSmartCity.

About The DEC Network

The DEC Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization driving innovation and economic impact by helping entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses. With a number of innovation hubs across DFW, we provide expert education, access to knowledgeable mentors, and a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs. 

We accelerate founder success through connections and collaboration from our work with investors, corporations, and public institutions. Since 2013, we have attracted more than 125,000 visitors, hosted over 1,000 educational events and worked with over 100 partner organizations.


Dallas Innovation Alliance Releases Year-End Case Study and Results of the Smart Cities Living Lab

Dallas Innovation Alliance Releases Year-End Case Study and Results of the Smart Cities Living Lab

Living Lab Data Visualization Dashboard Launched; Developed in Partnership with Amazech 

November 8, 2018 [DALLAS, TX] – Today, the Dallas Innovation Alliance(DIA), a 501c(3) public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the design and execution of a smart cities strategy in Dallas,  announced the release of its year-end case study on the Smart Cities Living Lab powered by AT&T in Dallas’ West End Historic District. Launched in March 2017, the Living Lab is a four-block corridor in downtown Dallas housing nine integrated smart city projects, and represents the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country. The Living Lab was executed through the partnership of more than 30 organizations across the public, private, civic and academic sectors; and through collaboration with 20 departments within the City of Dallas.

 "The intention of becoming a smart city is to improve operations, sustainability and create an inclusive and prosperous city; testing the data and technology provides a catalyst in preparing Dallas for the future," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "The Dallas Innovation Alliance is a valued partner in elevating a culture of innovation in Dallas, and the insights generated by the Living Lab will be utilized as a tool to evaluate the potential of these technologies to reach our goals as a city. "

The case study provides insight into elements including:

·       Results from the nine active projects in the Living Lab;

·       Overall impacts of the program and community engagement efforts; 

·       Recommendations on highest-value projects for scaled deployment across the city; and those of value for neighborhood-specific expansion;

·       Discussion briefs outlining critical topics for consideration prior to undertaking a large-scale rollout. These topics include cybersecurity, data ownership and monetization, citizen data policies, IoT and smart cities infrastructure standards, open data; legacy zoning standards; data analytics best practices; and

·       Overviews of successful projects by peer cities including: Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Jose to show examples of best practices across the country. 

The case study can be viewed and downloaded via the DIA’s website.

“The City of Dallas is using AT&T’s Smart Cities framework and our Internet of Things technology to solve the problems that matter most to the community,” said Michael Zeto, VP of AT&T IoT Solutions and General Manager of Smart Cities. “In collaboration with the city, we’ve deployed our AT&T Digital Infrastructure nodes, smart street lights, digital kiosks and more to help make the West End neighborhood safer for the people who live and work there.” 

 Select insights from the year-end results of the Living Lab include:

·       During the pilot, the West End saw a 13 percent increase in pedestrian traffic flow, local businesses saw a 12 percent increase in revenue, and a crime decrease of six percent year over year. Information from pedestrian mapping provided insights to local businesses on times to capture increased foot traffic. 

·       35 percent energy reduction from smart lighting pilot; intelligent controls across all of the 85,000 lights present in Dallas would equate to at least 90 million dollars of operational savings over the life of the LED bulbs.

·        On average, over 440 people utilized the interactive kiosk every month, with 53 percent utilizing multiple functions, including transit information, local points of interest, public facilities and a ‘selfie’ function.

·       Environmental quality saw increased pollutants and particulate matter in the hours following the 4thof July fireworks, these types of insights could be used to educate the public and those suffering from asthma to take precautions when taking in festivities.

“From the beginning of this initiative, the purpose of the Living Lab was to provide valuable insights through ‘test driving’ forward-thinking technologies that benefit the City of Dallas and its residents,” commented Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director, Dallas Innovation Alliance. “Through this case study, we are providing our first comprehensive look at the potential of smart city initiatives across our city, and hope to offer a resource that is of value to cities across the country who are embarking on their own smart city programs. We look forward to continuing to capture data in the Living Lab that brings results unique to Dallas’ needs, and are excited to expand our efforts in 2019 into Southern Dallas in Phase II.”

Through the support and partnership of Amazech Solutions, the first phase of an interactive public-facing dashboardhas been launched today alongside the case study, allowing data generated by Living Lab projects to be accessed by students, researchers, startups and the public. The first three projects available on the dashboard are intelligent lighting, the interactive digital kiosk, and environmental sensor kit. The dashboard is a key step in fulfilling the DIA’s mission to provide open data access and transparency for DIA projects, as well as providing visual ways for citizens to play with and easily understand the value of data. Upcoming additions will include pedestrian traffic, water and irrigation, parking and publicly available data sources including public safety, 311 reporting and more.

“With the ever-increasing automation and connectedness of our world, data is abundant and can be overwhelming,” said Shanthi Rajaram, President and CEO, Amazech. “The ability to integrate and visualize data in an easy to comprehend way provides an avenue to maximize the value of data. Amazech is thrilled to support this project that will provide insight to Dallas Innovation Alliance stakeholders, the public and those that wish to utilize this data for research and creating new solutions to city challenges.”

The next phase for the Dallas Innovation Alliance will include projects in Southern Dallas focused on solutions to challenges around mobility, digital divide and public safety, among others. Phase II projects will begin in 2019. In addition, the DIA is partnering with the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft and UT-Dallas to launch a smart cities incubator, Innov8te, in the West End to support entrepreneurs and startups focused on solving civic challenges in “8” core areas through emerging technologies and services.

About the Dallas Innovation Alliance

The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) is a 501c3 public-private partnership dedicated to supporting the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas, which integrates social, data and technology initiatives to accelerate economic growth, resource efficiency, and most importantly, improve quality of life. DIA support is led by 2017-18 Foundational Partners AT&T and Toyota Motor North America; Pivotal Partner Cisco, Lead Partners Current, powered by GE and Foley Gardere; Partners AECOM, Universal Mind and Granite Properties; and Lead Community Partner United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Members of the Dallas Innovation Alliance include: City of Dallas, Dallas County, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), VisitDallas, Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), Dallas Regional Chamber, Downtown Dallas Inc., The Real Estate Council (TREC), Texas Research Alliance, CIVIQ Smartscapes, Deloitte, EB Systems, Vericlave, Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft, ParkHub, Signify Philips and Schneider Electric. For more information, please visit www.DallasInnovationAlliance.comor follow the DIA on Twitter: @DallasSmartCity.

*About AT&T Communications

We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the best network according to America’s biggest test.** We’re building FirstNetjust for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTVand DIRECTV NOW, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve over 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities. 

AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Learn more at

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at on YouTube

© 2018 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Based on GWS OneScore Sept. 2018. Excludes crowd sourced studies.

About Amazech 

Amazech is a software development company which has been providing IT solutions for companies and organizations of all sizes for over a decade. They focus on business intelligence, analytics and reporting, workflow automation, process optimization and virtual and augmented reality solutions.  Amazech leverages the right innovation to foster enterprise modernization and help businesses succeed.  Amazech is a certified woman and minoirty owned business. For more information, please




The West End to Get a Smart Park, Illuminated Path to Victory Park: Dallas Observer

The West End to Get a Smart Park, Illuminated Path to Victory Park

Danielle Abril, Dallas Observer

August 24, 2018

The West End is about to get its latest infusion of innovation. It will soon be home to a smart park, serve as the focal point of a case study for smart city technology and connect to Victory Park via a newly illuminated path.

The developments are all happening in what is called the Dallas Innovation District, a title that represents the civic, corporate, startup and academic initiatives in the West End. The Dallas Innovation Alliance, a nonprofit public-private partnership among Dallas, local corporations and startups founded in 2015, has been one of the driving forces behind the latest developments. The city, corporations and other entities provide resources, materials and leadership to increase efficiencies with new technologies. In 2016, the DIA established the Living Lab, the section of the Innovation District where smart cities technologies are being tested.

“The ultimate goal is around improving the quality of life,” says Jennifer Sanders, DIA executive director. “It's really about organic, community-driven pieces enabled by technology serving as catalyst for future development.”

The latest developments will take shape over the next several months.

James Corner Field Operations architecture firm is designing the smart park, called the West End Plaza. The park will occupy one square block between North Market Street, Corbin Street, North Record Street and the Spaghetti Warehouse building. Isabel Castilla, a principal designer for James Corner Field Operations, is heading this project. She's also the lead designer for a section of New York City's High Line, a public park built on an elevated historic freight line in Manhattan, and The Underline, a linear park in Miami expected to stretch 10 miles. Castilla has yet to release full details on the park but gave a teaser to her current challenges on a recent Parks for Downtown Dallas blog post. (To get an idea of what a smart park is, think wired, efficient tech matched with a traditional park or check out this article from the National Recreation and Park Association.)

“The West End is very different from the rest of Downtown Dallas and what you would associate with Dallas as a whole, yet there’s the initiative and vision to make this into a 'smart' park,'” Castilla said in the blog post. “How do you actually balance those two ideas — of something that’s very historic and needs to be respected and a space that is cutting-edge? That question is extremely interesting to me.”

Parks for Downtown Dallas, a nonprofit established by the Belo Foundation to create more green spaces in Dallas, is hosting two public meetings about the park: one at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and the other at noon Sept. 21, both at Factory SIX03. There, Parks for Downtown Dallas is expected to unveil the plans and timelines for the park, which will leverage some of the technology — say, perhaps air-quality sensors — already piloted in the West End for efficiency.

Meanwhile, the DIA is also working on plans to illuminate the path between the West End and Victory Park. “One connection that has been top of mind is that between the West End and Victory Park and how easy it is to get from one place to the next,” Sanders says. “But people don't realize it, and walking on the underpass is not very welcoming.”

So this summer, the DIA secured a $25,000 grant from Downtown Dallas Inc., a nonprofit advocacy group, to improve the safety on the path with a light installation. The grant will cover a series of lit metal arches that will be programmable and “have lots of opportunities to engage artists,” Sanders says.

The DIA is also preparing to release a case-study next month based on its current projects. Included in that release will be a public-facing dashboard that will provide real-time results on energy usage, environmental quality and other raw data as it relates to the DIA's pilots.

“People want to be able to work with that for startup or academic uses,” Sanders said. It also “becomes a resource for other cities.”

Over the past few years, the DIA has set out to implement nine innovations in the West End: environmental sensors, intelligent LED lighting, network connectivity, public Wi-Fi, smart irrigation, an open-source platform to provide data, smart parking, smart water meters and an end-to-end mobility app for residents. It has since unveiled smart streetlights, public Wi-Fi, parking sensors, air-quality sensors and an interactive kiosk to provide information to pedestrians. The DIA, which officially launched at the White House as part of the Envision America program, has been able to accomplish this with help from its partners, including AT&T Dallas, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Downtown Dallas Inc., Cisco, Ericsson, Microsoft and IBM. The organization went from idea to implementation in 12 months.

“What's interesting and unique about this project is the leadership and forward thinking of the city of Dallas to coincide with the work they've been doing for years,” said Trey Bowles, co-founder of the DIA. “We constantly have cities asking, 'How did you develop this public-private partnership?' None of that happens without the leadership of Dallas and the leadership of Jen.” 

In the last several years, the West End has been undergoing transformation. Some may call it a revitalization of the historic district, which is now home to the Dallas Entrepreneur Center; Uber's Dallas office, which is working with Uber on the flying rideshare program called Uber Elevate; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas' C1 Innovation Lab; the Dallas Innovation Alliance; and a host of startups.

BisNow: 'Build For Your Backyard': Lessons Emerging Markets Have Learned From Successful Retail Hubs

'Build For Your Backyard': Lessons Emerging Markets Have Learned From Successful Retail Hubs

Kerry Curry, BisNow

The Bishop Arts District in southern Dallas has been a model for developers of emerging retail markets who look to the district for inspiration. The multi-block redevelopment of more than 60 businesses in Oak Cliff certainly wasn’t an overnight sensation. Bishop Arts has evolved with its share of ups and downs since Jim Lake Sr. and his business partner, Mike Morgan, first began buying up historical properties there in the mid-1980s in the midst of a downward economic cycle. Lake Sr. died in 2003 and his son, Jim Lake Jr., has carried on his father’s urban redevelopment efforts in Bishop Arts, where he controls about 77K SF of retail space.

“Bishop Arts is just killing it,” said JD Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority in Fort Worth, the group responsible for the Trinity River Vision. That master plan includes the $910M Panther Island, a waterfront commercial district being developed in Downtown Fort Worth. There is typically a lot of excitement surrounding emerging commercial districts, and there is a lot they can learn from successful districts such as Bishop Arts. “We have several emerging districts in Fort Worth, and there is a lot of enthusiasm when they first start,” Granger said at Bisnow's Retail South conference in Plano Tuesday. “A bunch of retailers will jump in, and it always scares me when that happens because I see the ones that are successful and it is very dependent on the number of heads in and about that area.”

Destination entertainment operators in emerging districts may find they are only drawing a crowd on the weekends while mom-and-pop bars and dining establishments haven’t adequately studied whether there are enough nearby residents to support their establishments. “West 7th has been an overnight success; at the same time we’ve turned over a lot of the retail there,” Granger said. 

As the Panther Island project emerges, organizers are carefully studying what and how many retail and restaurant establishments can be supported by nearby residents and that will affect how quickly the development expands, Granger said. “When I look at community developments, I say don’t build it for somebody else,” he said. “Instead, build it for the people in your backyard first. If the people in your backyard like it, they go there, then it’s busy. When it’s busy, other people will join them, but build it for you first because that is the best way for success.”

Dallas Innovation Alliance co-founder and Executive Director Jennifer Sanders said one of the reasons for the current success of Dallas’ Deep Ellum district is its block-by-block mix of tenants. “On a single block, you have retail and restaurants so it’s always active,” Sanders said. “When I see some other districts that are missing the retail element or missing the restaurant element, they have some dead zones. If it’s dead part of the day, people don’t want to come there and don’t want to live there. Some districts go dark at 8 p.m., and that’s how downtown [Dallas] used to be when I moved here in 2005.”

Developers operating in neighborhoods on the edges of Downtown Dallas, such as East Dallas, should learn from that, she said. Instead, these near Downtown neighborhoods appear to be filling in too heavily with residential without enough walkable retail and restaurant options interspersed among them, she said. Granger, who said he has been visiting Bishop Arts about twice a month for the last eight to nine years, said he learns from and studies the district each time he goes. “Now the outside rings are exploding with multifamily, but it was about building something for themselves first,” he said. “There was a community pride, a uniqueness to it, a very distinct character. Take that model and follow it. They own the image and branding and it’s a great case study.”

Why Smart Cities Are a Golden Opportunity for Entrepreneurs: New Milford Spectrum

Why Smart Cities Are a Golden Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

John Wechsler, New Milford Spectrum

As an entrepreneur, I often think about "smart cities" in the context of disruption by entrepreneurs re-shaping the way cities function. With grassroots IoT incubators popping up here in the U.S. to first generation smart hubs like Singapore across the globe, smart cities offer entrepreneurs opportunities to meet needs that didn't exist pre-2014.

How are entrepreneurs actually fueling the creation of smart cities today? Let's take a look at three important components of smart cities and the people powering them.

Building an infrastructure that uniquely fits the environment

No two cities are the same. Every city worldwide experiences challenges unique to the population, climate, traffic patterns and more. Thus, when it comes to supporting basic infrastructure for a smart city, the devil is in the details. For example, Boston may evaluate how winter conditions and snow accumulation affect traffic December through March and prioritize heated, smart roads that de-ice themselves. Los Angeles, on the other hand, may focus its efforts on how solar or ocean wave energy could power the city.

Barcelona, a stellar example of a European smart hub, is utilizing a mix of high and low technology to benefit its own city-dwellers. According to IoT World Today, the city monitors air pollution by using a system dubbed XVPCA. This system deploys air quality sensors through the city that allows civic leaders to benchmark progress around regulation and air quality initiatives.

The list of what city leaders value, and how they differ from city to city, is likely endless. The challenges are often so unique that solutions to address them don't exist -- and requires someone who knows the city intimately to build it. But, this means that entrepreneurs worldwide who are invested in and proud of their home cities, have an advantage over "non-locals."

A city looking to achieve "smart" status should seek out its local tech and entrepreneurship community (most cities have at least one) first, before pouring hours into researching tech that only checks a handful of boxes. Entrepreneurs should make themselves available to city leaders to engage in discussions about city needs. In the new era of smart tech on a city scale, cities need entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need cities. Unique cities require a unique solution.

Managing the onslaught of IoT data

The Dallas Innovation Alliance is one of many groups fostering innovation specifically for smart cities. Current projectsinclude smart lighting, waste management, digital citizen-centric kiosks, smart irrigation, smart parking and city-wide access to public Wi-Fi. Each one of these components could be transformative to a city in the short term. But, with smart cities, a long-term perspective is essential, especially when it comes to data.

Data is foundational to the smart city model, and the ability to collect and report on trends is vital to a smart city's ongoing success. Thus, data analysis is just as important as the tech collecting it. Yet, the amount of data facing cities is intimidating.

In fact, IDC predicts that the amount of data could reach 163 zettabytes by 2025. To put this number in perspective, one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 930 billion gigabytes. The human mind, or even a team, can't possibly sift through the amount of data a smart city generates. To manage this onslaught of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will become the new normal.

I was recently introduced to Moogsoft, a company in the AIOps industry, and was able to discuss smart city initiativesinvolving AI and IoT.

"The amount of data that will be generated when applying IoT technology to use cases like real-time city management will be massive," Phil Tee, CEO of Moogsoft, wrote in a blog post. "If the performance of these devices is not managed correctly through the smart application of AI and ML, the amount of incoming data will overwhelm human operators and will ultimately pose a barrier to leading cities toward a smarter tomorrow."

Tee's vision of an IT-powered smart city is an approach that combines both machine and manpower, tied together by the IoT devices driving smart efforts.

Related: Big Data Combined With Machine Learning Helps Businesses Make Much Smarter Decisions

Humans and machines working together 

Have you ever fought with a customer service bot on the phone? Many have experienced the frustration of needing to speak to a real human being about an issue too complex for the bot to understand. In the same way, as artificial intelligence technology takes leaps forward, there will always be a need for the human touch. This provides an additional opportunity for entrepreneurs to not only build smart city tech, but service it, too.

Tee has a similar sentiment on this topic and shared how man and machine can work together in a scenario around urban energy projects.

"As our energy creation becomes more decentralized, sensors that monitor changes in factors like current, voltage and temperature will help us manage our power grids," Tee wrote. "From there, AI will be able to adjust and optimize the energy resources accordingly. The ability for IT teams to observe performance 'at the edge' -- where a specific panel is deployed, for instance -- will be necessary to detect anomalies and restore services when localized outages occur."

This scenario also illustrates how emergent technology doesn't need to eliminate jobs, but can improve services that truly matter.

Practical steps to a better tomorrow 

The technology industry is one that must ask itself, "Is what I'm building going to benefit society?" No one wants AI or IoT to complicate things. We're looking for solutions that improve life for us all. Purpose-driven innovation at the city level is a good start.

While we still have the freedom to creatively dream about what is possible in 20 or 30 years, through the lens of IoT, AI and ML, we can see tangible ways to improve each day.

Government Technology: Phoenix Partnership Promises to Further Regional Smart Cities Work

Phoenix Partnership Promises to Further Regional Smart Cities Work

A coalition of thought leaders are behind an effort to focus the collective talent of industry, academia and the public sector to develop and meet smart cities goals.

Skip Descant, Government Technology

A new initiative to grow smart city projects is taking hold in the Phoenix metro region.

The project, called the Greater Phoenix Smart Region Initiative, is a public-private nonprofit partnership that includes the Arizona State University Center for Smart Cities and Regions, the Arizona Institute for Digital Progress, and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Maricopa County — home to Phoenix and more than 22 cities and towns — is between the third and fourth most populous county in the United States and one of the fastest growing in the country, and is also home to a number of technology companies and other businesses. The county is also home to the nation’s largest public research institution at Arizona State University (ASU).

“The Greater Phoenix Smart Region Initiative is being formed to build a system and framework that takes the approach of the smartest cities, and leverages the scale and testing capabilities of our entire region,” said Dominic Papa, executive director for the Institute for Digital Progress, during a Sept. 19 Meeting of the Minds webinar. “Both community- and industry-driven [research and development] are at the center of our smart region business model.”

ASU will serve the research and testbed role for the Phoenix Smart Region Initiative, harnessing the university’s considerable intellectual talent, particularly via the ASU Center for Smart Cities and Regions (CSCR).

“CSCR will provide the fundamental research piece to the collaboration. This will occur through a number of means and mechanisms, enabling CSCR to not only utilize the in-house expertise, but also those around ASU,” said Diana Bowman, director of CSCR and an associate professor with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

ASU and IDP will craft a “smart cities digital road map,” which should be complete by the end of October. “Through the road map, a set of regionwide key priorities will be developed to encompass some of the most pressing issues that we’re facing,” Papa said.

The collaboration brings the work of ASU out into the larger region and strengthens relationships among policymakers, entrepreneurs and others dedicated to growing innovation in the region.

The region’s biggest challenge lies in its inability to “clearly elucidate our collective challenges, identify our strategic opportunities, and build consensus on key priorities for the region,” Papa said.

The Arizona Institute for Digital Progress, a nonprofit established as the implementation partner for the Phoenix Smart Region Initiative, looked to other similar public-private partnerships to grow smart city projects, like the Dallas Innovation Alliance in Texas, the Internet of Things (IoT) Consortium at the University of Southern California and the numerous Smart Kansas City initiatives in Missouri.

One of the structural pieces of the initiative is the formation of the Arizona Urban iLabs, described as a connected network of “innovation sandboxes” throughout the region. The Urban iLabs are intended to foster collaborations across professions and stakeholders. The innovation sandbox will create a “living lab environment” where solutions can be tested and scaled, as well as provide the member communities with IoT infrastructure, such as a place to test beacons and sensors.

Funding will come from public, city and industry membership, as well as funding from the university.

“So, it’s a three-way kind of pot, from public, from private and from the university,” Papa added.

IDP and ASU will largely manage the civic and public engagement, while the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will focus on industry engagement.

“What we have set up right now is a leadership council which consists of all the jurisdictions,” Papa explained. “We then have a technology advisory commission which will be our industry partners.”

City of Dallas Job Opportunity: Chief Innovation Officer



This position is responsible for managing the innovation process within the City of Dallas and providing the necessary ecosystem that allows ideas to germinate, take root and flourish.  It works closely with the City Manager’s Office as a management consultant to City departments to develop and inspire the development and implementation of data-driven best practices in municipal government and foster a culture of innovation, efficiency, and process improvement. The City of Dallas is focused on identifying and scaling creative ideas that work throughout the City organization and implementing solutions in partnership with internal and external stakeholders. This strategic and forward-thinking individual will be a catalyst for change throughout City Hall and have the freedom to move nimbly within the organization to identify opportunities for improvement and adapt or implement creative, data-driven, comprehensive solutions to traditional problems, both technological and operational, and drive the organization towards innovative solutions. 


 (These are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work performed. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.)

§ Formulate and implement effective new ideas and innovative strategies and incorporate them into the City’s plans; 

§ Research and analyze trends in local government to forecast future changes in practices, processes, and programs; explore and import innovations from other communities for testing where they may be applicable;

§ Utilize quantitative and research methods to identify opportunities for improvement in operations and services throughout the City of Dallas.  Analyze and research a variety of administrative and operational issues/problems/opportunities and provide sound solutions or courses of action; establish and maintain systems for measuring, monitoring and reporting on operational and management performance Citywide; 

§ Formulate solutions and provide implementation alternatives to various governmental systems, processes, and service delivery models and deliver recommendations to the City Council, City Manager's Office, Departments, and outside agencies;

§ Evaluate the progress of innovation and adjust the pace or direction of new projects in accordance with the City’s various strategic priorities;

§ Work in coordination with Executive Leadership Team to implement the Dallas 365: Performance Management Program and provide quarterly reports to the City Council on city services performance outcomes;

§ Provide citywide oversight of metrics and data analytics to facilitate strategic utilization of data; 

§ Lead the implementation of the City of Dallas smart city framework into government operations;

§ Work in coordination with the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Government Affairs to monitor and pursue grants (i.e., local, state, federal, private) to add innovative capacity to City operations;

§ Forge partnerships with local community groups, companies, universities and school systems that can support the research and development of innovative solutions; 

§ Work in partnership with the Chief Information Officer on identification, development, and testing of civic technologies and projects that advance the City’s Open Government mission; ensure a forward-thinking, cohesive, and strategic approach to technology in support ofall municipal business units;

§ Represent the City and serves as liaison and convener with other local, state and federal agencies and related NGOs to align community innovation with broader regional and national programs;

§ Lead multi-functional, cross-departmental teams that may consist of employees from all levels of the organization;  

§ Select, motivate, develop, manage, and evaluate staff; 

§ Develop and equip managers in their role as change agents and leaders of innovation in their respective departments;

§ Perform highly responsible and complex administrative work related to planning and managing the activities of assigned departments and units; develop short- and long-range plans, goals, and objectives with clear objectives, outcomes, and performance measures; 

§ Advise City management and the City Council on the effective, efficient, and economical management of the areas of assignment; submitting reports; monitoring grant opportunities (i.e., local, state, federal, private) to add innovative capacity to City operations;  

§ Oversee the development, preparation, and administration of budgets;

2018-2019 PRIORITIES:

§ Transition the organization to a more innovative and tactical environment to become a partner in the external entrepreneurial process;

§ Instill a culture of innovation, professionalism and continuous improvement in the City organization, and develop a more adaptive and dynamic organization receptive to new ideas and operational enhancements;

§ Serve as a consultant and facilitator for City employees, local businesses, and organizations seeking to develop new solutions to civic challenges and city-wide systemic issues; 


Ability to Envision and Communicate the Future: 

§  Have a well-developed analytical and predictive sense based on previous experience and thorough review of current and historical facts.  

§  Able to see where the organization might be going, anticipate future needs, formulate non-traditional approaches and solutions to problems, and be able to communicate the opportunity associated with these solutions.

§  Able to communicate the vision of the future state in a manner that would resonate with others within the organization. Skilled at explaining the process by which conclusions and roadmaps are developed and how the organization might implement and rip the benefits of the new state. 

Ability to Drive Ideas and Action Around a Common Vision: 

§  Have the skill and knowledge to drive ideas and actions and to turn vision and creativity into reality. 

§  Able to ideate, plan, prototype, launch, and implement solutions in a team environment, taking advantage of the organization’s strengths. 

Ability to Anticipate, Identify, and Counteract Resistance to Innovation: 

§  Must be able to address organizational dynamics, systems, and processes that may stand in the way of innovation and positive change.

§  Must be flexible, resilient, and adaptable to changing priorities;

Data Analysis, Governance, and Inventorying Skills: 

§  Capable of developing cross-organizational programs, processes, and initiatives for data collection, inventorying and analysis.

§ Ability to apply mathematical and statistical methods to organizational studies; 


Strategic Insight and Ability: 

§  Ability to plan, design, implement, evaluate and coordinate delivery of services, determine and implement appropriate changes and improvements to ensure effective, cost-efficient solutions.

§ Experience in policy analysis, strategic thinking, policy development, and public process facilitation;

§  Able to assemble and lead a diverse team that blends analytical, deductive reasoning with creative thought and foresight.

Collaboration, Negotiation, and Influencing Skills: 

§  Able to analyze complex organizational structures and functional internal and external relationships; 

§  Demonstrated skill and experience at prioritizing and building connections, both within a complex organization and with other organizations.

§  Able to influence stakeholders and gather support for initiatives, based on a track record of previous successful innovations and experiences that inspire buy-in from the organization’s leaders and support for a common vision.

§  Able to work across the organization and the City Manager to facilitate an improved culture of innovation, accessibility, efficiency, and accountability; understand how to foster openness and transparency to drive collaborative change and create the best possible environment for innovation by tapping into all relevant stakeholders and available resources.

§ Able to work in a collaborative manner with City departments to foster high-performing project teams dedicated to achieving innovative and inspiring results; 

§ Able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff, other government officials, community groups, the general public, and media representatives; 

§ Be comfortable dealing with an engaged public in a highly visible environment.

§ Inspire, manage and collaborate with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders at all levels;

§  Ability to identify and respond to community and City Council issues, concerns and needs promptly;

§  Ability to be flexible, resilient and adaptable to changing priorities;

Communication Skills:

§  Ability to write clear and concise reports; 

§  Ability to prepare and deliver effective presentations for individuals and groups;


Any combination of training, education, and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college, or university with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Information Technology or a related field.  This position requires a minimum of 8 years’ experience in one or more of the following types of organizations: (a) a private sector firm with a culture committed to performance improvement measures and best practices; (b) a management consulting firm dealing with organizational efficiencies, cost-saving analysis, and performance enhancements; or (c) a forward-thinking government entity that has embraced change management and innovative techniques. Ideal candidates will also present progressively responsible managerial, supervisory experience with major emphasis on strategic program development and business model development and change leadership. 

A comparable amount of training and experience may be substituted for the minimum qualifications.

How to Apply

Interested qualified candidates must submit an application online via NeoGov at:

Applications must be complete, including previous salary history and (3) required references.  A resume and letter of interest are recommended.  Application must be submitted by the deadline noted on the application submission site.

Note:  Under the Texas Public Information Act, information from your resume may be subject to public disclosure. 




Innovative Solutions Addressing Traffic, Parking, Conservation, Connectivity and Mobility to Launch in Dallas



Innovative Solutions Addressing Traffic, Parking, Conservation, Connectivity and Mobility to Launch in Dallas

Dallas Innovation Alliance Begins Second Phase of Smart Cities Living Lab. Second Quarter of Living Lab Results Show Potential for Tens of Millions in Savings to City of Dallas

DALLAS, Texas –  January 23, 2018 – Dallas is not just growing fast, it’s also becoming a ‘smarter’ city.  Six new programs designed to improve access, increase conservation, bridge the digital divide, and navigate through the city more easily will soon be integrated into the “Living Lab”, a corridor in the West End Historic District in Downtown Dallas.

The effort is led by The Dallas Innovation Alliance, a non-profit that brings the public and private sector together to design and execute a smart city strategy for Dallas. Smart cities use technology, data and community initiatives to increase economic development, resource efficiency and improve quality of life.

Projects announced today include:

·       Smart irrigation offering smart controllers that utilize weather data to improve water conservation and leak detection, at Dealey Plaza from partner HydroPoint Data Systems;

·       Smart water management, including metering to provide more granular interval data for customer conservation, as well as leak and tamper detection via water analytics dashboards from Itron;

·       Smart parking efforts with utilization, traffic flow and spot availability from Dallas startup ParkHub;

·       AT&T Smart Cities Digital Infrastructure powered by City IQ by Current delivering nodes with initial applications that will include “TrafficPulse,” “ParkingView” and “CitySight,” respectively;

·       Public Wi-Fi in the Living Lab led by the City of Dallas and powered by AT&T, Cisco, Nokia and Scientel; and a

·       Mobility initiative with Toyota Motor North America in South Dallas, currently in the research phase.

“It is only through key partnerships and the vision of the City of Dallas that we have been able to build the most robust and fastest-to-market smart city pilot in the country here in Dallas,” commented Jennifer Sanders, executive director, Dallas Innovation Alliance. “With the launch of this second phase of projects in the West End, Living Lab data will grow more robust and provide even better insights  as we look to scale more broadly across the city.”

The Dallas Innovation Alliance Smart Cities Living Lab powered by AT&T launched in March 2017, and today works with more than 20 city departments and 30 partner organizations to create solutions to benefit the people of Dallas.

“Ultimately, a smart city works to solve city problems, conserve resources and create an inclusive and prosperous city; the technology itself is not enough without measurable insights provided by data,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The work of AT&T and the Dallas Innovation Alliance in building a Living Lab has provided a great platform to test and share results of projects that could broadly impact Dallas for the benefit of our citizens. We look forward to continued progress in creating a truly smart city for all of Dallas.”

“Investing in smart cities technology is a commitment to address the needs of citizens today and in the future,” said Mike Zeto, general manager, AT&T Smart Cities. “The City of Dallas is doing important work, testing solutions that can lead to improved public safety, citizen engagement and environmental sustainability.  Key learnings from the Living Lab will prove invaluable as we work to scale these types of solutions to more cities across the country.”

The Dallas Innovation Alliance currently is working with leadership within the City of Dallas and Dallas County, as well as civic, academic and private sector partners to design additional projects for launch in 2018. This includes a mobility initiative in South Dallas in partnership with Toyota Motor North America.   

“By creatively combining our know-how and resources and partnering with others, we can tackle problems that affect people’s ability to fulfill their potential and move in the world,” said Ryan Klem, who leads mobility programs for the Social Innovation team at Toyota Motor North America. “Together with Dallas Innovation Alliance, we look forward to deploying a mobility solution that helps improve quality of life for those in need in South Dallas.”

Initiatives announced today build on current projects including intelligent LED street lighting from GE and Philips, solar-powered environmental sensors from Ericsson,  the Interactive Digital WayPoint kiosk from CIVIQ Smartscapes and pedestrian beacons from EB Systems.

Selected results for projects underway include:

·       Local West End businesses are utilizing data on foot traffic to best match marketing and operational investments to capture additional business. Revenue grew 16.9 percent year-over-year, and customer traffic data has shown nearly a 7 percent increase;

·       Decreases in crime are often seen as a result of factors including an increasing residential population, business activity and improved lighting. In the West End, crime has decreased 6 percent year over year [2016 vs. 2017]; and crime in December 2017 was down 27 percent from the same period in 2016;

·       The strongest example of operational savings and return on investment from the Pilot has been the Intelligent Streetlight Project, which saved 873 kW Hours in Q2 based upon installation of 23 lights in the Living Lab.  Extrapolating these small-scale results to the full network of 85,000 streetlights in the city show a potential for millions of kW hours of energy saved annually on a citywide basis.

·       This Living Lab experience appears to show that replacing legacy lights with LED bulbs across the entire city network could save tens of millions of dollars over 10 years, which is a conservative life assumption for LED bulbs. The DIA is working closely with the City and Oncor to refine these calculations by focusing on specific factors, including capital and installation costs, O&M cost and labor parameters and to quantify additional operational efficiencies resulting from the intelligent controls system. The DIA appreciates the outstanding input from the front-line experts at the City, as well as our partners, who made this test and these findings possible.

Full second quarter results will be available this week on the Dallas Innovation Alliance website, at

About the Dallas Innovation Alliance

The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) is a 501c3 public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas, which integrates social, data and technology initiatives to accelerate economic growth, resource efficiency, and most importantly, improve quality of life for citizens. DIA is supported by an outstanding group of Partners, including: 2017-18 Organizational Partners AT&T and Toyota Motor North America; Pivotal Partner Cisco, Lead Partners Current, Powered by GE and Gardere; Partners AECOM, Granite Properties and Universal Mind; and Lead Community Partner United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Members of the Dallas Innovation Alliance include: City of Dallas, Dallas County, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Visit Dallas, Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC), Dallas Regional Chamber, Downtown Dallas Inc., The Real Estate Council (TREC), Texas Research Alliance, CIVIQ Smartscapes, Deloitte, EB Systems, entegra Technologies, Ericsson, IBM, Microsoft, ParkHub, Philips and Schneider Electric. 



BBC Wires | January 10, 2018

LAS VEGAS — AT&T is currently testing a new structure monitoring solution that will help improve the safety of roadways and railways as part of its effort to continue developing and delivering Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help make our cities and communities smarter, safer and more efficient.

This comes in addition to the company’s smart cities work with several U.S. spotlight cities and its recently launched digital infrastructure solution.

Remote Monitoring of Roads and Railways
U.S. infrastructure is aging and in disrepair. Almost half of U.S. bridges are more than 50 years old. Organizations normally rely on visual inspections to assess the state of roadways and railways. Since many are in remote locations, it is difficult to regularly assess. And many of the remote monitoring alternatives use older technology solutions that are bulky and not suited for the long-term.

AT&T is set to deliver a solution so teams can monitor structural and environmental factors remotely in near real time.

“Safety is a top concern of citizens and cities alike. This concern extends beyond the realm of crime and natural disasters. It also includes the safety of our infrastructure,” said Mike Zeto, general manager, AT&T Smart Cities. “We’re pleased to test this solution, which will allow for smart infrastructure analysis and monitoring.

With AT&T Smart Cities Structure Monitoring, selected infrastructure will receive AT&T LTE-enabled sensors to remotely monitor structural factors. The sensors, which measure things like cracks and tilts, also feature alert triggers and email alerts to capture significant events.

How will this benefit organizations and the community?

  • Help improve safety and planning.
  • Fewer manual inspections can lower operational costs.
  • Organizations can monitor structures in near real time using the internet. All they need is a web-enabled device.

The company’s new AT&T Smart Cities Structure Monitoring product will join its growing Smart Cities solutions suite which includes AT&T Smart Cities Digital Infrastructure, AT&T Smart Irrigation, AT&T Smart Cities Operations Center, AT&T Smart Grid – Solar Solution and AT&T Smart Grid Solutions – Prepay Energy.

An AT&T Smart Cities Update
AT&T launched its Smart Cities organization in the fall of 2015. Since then, the company has worked closely with cities and their citizens to better understand key challenges and help them create impactful solutions. AT&T has formed strategic alliances with technology companies, the developer community and other leading organizations. An example of this collaboration is its spotlight city program, an  initiative that tests AT&T’s smart cities framework in select cities and municipalities across the country.

Atlanta: The City of Atlanta was one of the first cities to join AT&T’s spotlight city program. The company’s close collaboration with city leaders is helping to bring Atlanta’s smart cities vision to life. Utilizing AT&T Digital Infrastructure with Current, powered by GE’s CityIQTM, AT&T is working with the local utility to transform the city’s existing lighting infrastructure into a sensor-enabled data network that will accelerate the digital era of urban development. To date, two hundred sensors have been added to previously installed LED streetlights encompassing key areas in the city. The sensors will help Atlanta address issues such as traffic flow, parking optimization and gunshot detection, and create a platform for citizen engagement. We are also part of a broader effort to help the city strategically address road safety challenges as part of their Smart Corridor project. From innovative programs like the Atlanta Civic Coding Competition to our work with the IoT.ATL initiative, our commitment to helping Atlanta become one of the first true smart cities remains strong.

Dallas: We teamed with the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) and other technology leaders in the city to create a living lab. The solution addresses key challenges like sustainability and parking. To make the city’s historic West End more sustainable, the city installed 22 new smart lighting solutions using connected LED and intelligent controls. The new lighting used 35% less energy in its first 90 days.

“A smart city works to solve city problems, conserve resources and create an inclusive and prosperous city. The technology itself isn’t enough without measurable insights that come from data,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The Living Lab from AT&T and the Dallas Innovation Alliance provides a great platform to test and share results of projects that could positively impact Dallas citizens. We look forward to continued progress in creating a truly smart city for all of Dallas.”

The second phase of the DIA Smart Cities Living Lab powered by AT&T will launch later this month. For details, go to

Montgomery County: Montgomery County Maryland has a large commuter population. Together with some of our strategic alliance members, we worked with them to enhance ridership through the use of technology, such as informing the public about transit time delays in real-time and improving the riders’ experience. To address these issues, Wi-Fi was installed on targeted buses and bus shelters. Early research suggests the county will see increased ridership.

Mexico: Mexico City’s Ministry of Economic Development (SEDECO) recently signed an agreement with AT&T to run an Internet of Things (IoT) market pilot. This initiative, part of SEDECO’s “Program to Promote and Improve Public Markets in Mexico City,” reaffirms their interest in Smart Cities projects that are designed to promote sustainable development and effective management by using technology and connectivity.

To learn more about AT&T Smart Cities, go to