DALLAS INNOVATION ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES $205,000 Investment from United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Funding will provide operational capital as the DIA builds its West End living lab
DALLAS, TX, June 17, 2016 — Today, the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA), a 501c(3) Public-Private Partnership dedicated to the development and execution of a multi-phased smart city strategy for Dallas, announced a $205,000 social innovation grant from United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. This is the first investment of its kind from United Way, advancing its commitment to social innovation. United Way partners with innovative programs that seek to transform our city, improving quality of life and services for its citizens.
The DIA will address key challenges faced by Dallas, and cities around the world, around aging infrastructure, strained natural and fiscal resources, and increased density in the urban core, while providing the technology and connectivity needed to power the future for all Dallasites. The DIA operates from the definition that a smart city is one where technological and social infrastructures accelerate sustainable economic development, conserves resources and improves the quality of life for its citizens.
Through smart city solutions, cost and resource efficiencies can be achieved, public health and safety outcomes improved via LED lighting, air quality and crowd sensors; public Wi-Fi provides equity through connectivity, and associated STEM and workforce development initiatives prepare future workforce readiness.
United Way focuses its work around changing lives forever in North Texas, particularly in the areas of education, impact and health. A 2011 Blue Ribbon Commission study recognized the need for investments in new and innovative ideas to reach community goals. United Way’s GroundFloor mentor-driven social innovation fund and impact accelerator program was launched in 2013 as a response, investing seed funding and resources into promising social ventures focused on solutions. This new partnership with DIA expands United Way’s social innovation work, taking a forward-thinking approach to how smart cities’ infrastructure can potentially further its mission.
The United Way funds will be utilized to support the DIA’s 2016 operations, project management, community engagement, outreach initiatives and research.
“We are so grateful for the support of United Way, and for its work to provide investment into social innovation in Dallas,” commented Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director of the Dallas Innovation Alliance. “It is through the vision and commitment of organizations like United Way that entrepreneurial, innovative organizations are able to convert ideas to action, and the DIA will be able to accelerate its work thanks to the generosity of the organization.”
“United Way is focused on changing lives in our community and building a more secure future for Dallas by improving education, access to jobs and quality health care,” said Susan Hoff, Chief Impact, Strategy and Operations Officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “As these issues become increasingly complex, we must seek innovative solutions. The Dallas Innovation Alliance is a prime example of an organization testing and implementing promising results.”
Through the support and collaboration of its members like United Way, the DIA is committed to advancing transformative change in the city of Dallas while increasing the domestic and global profile of the great innovators and ideas that reside in Dallas. Some of DIA’s public, private and nonprofit sector members include the City of Dallas, Dallas Regional Chamber, Downtown Dallas Inc., Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), AT&T, Cisco, Ericsson, Current, powered by GE, AECOM, Universal Mind, Dallas 2030 District, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Real Estate Council, and the Texas Research Alliance.
In the coming months, the DIA will finalize its strategic priorities and begin implementation of initial projects in the West End Historic District in Dallas’ central business district, focused on smart infrastructure, smart mobility and connected living. The West End living lab will help anchor the Dallas Innovation District, providing a critical mass of the resources, infrastructure and creative talent that accelerates entrepreneurship, economic development and research & development. In December 2015, Dallas was selected as one of 10 cities in the inaugural Envision America program, which was announced at the White House in September 2015.
About the Dallas Innovation Alliance
The Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) is a public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart cities plan for the City of Dallas, leveraging social and technological infrastructures to accelerate sustainable economic growth, resource efficiency, and importantly, improve the quality of life for its citizens. DIA’s overarching goal is to elevate Dallas as a city that is not only prepared for, but a driving force in shaping, the future of cities, and providing opportunities for prosperity for its citizens. Its mission is to develop a scalable smart cities model for the City of Dallas that leverages the region’s distinctive strengths and leaves a legacy of innovation, sustainability and collaboration for future generations. For more information, please visit www.DallasInnovationAlliance.com.
About the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas brings people together to improve lives and create lasting change here in North Texas by focusing on education, income, and health – the building blocks for strong families and thriving communities. We galvanize and connect all sectors of society – individuals, businesses, non-profits, and government – to create long-term change through investing in solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families. We raise, invest and leverage more than $50 million annually in community-focused solutions serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. We do more than help one person beat the odds – we are changing the odds for entire communities. To learn more, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org.