IoT and Government: how new tech is driving economic development
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IoT and Government: how new tech is driving economic development


Every country is looking for the magic bullet for economic growth. As discussions turn to building “digital economies,” countries are considering how to best interlink developments in technology, human capital, and economic and regulatory factors to sustain growth and drive innovation in urban areas.

Investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) local and national governments are finding a more sustainable way to manage each factor of urban growth and identifying new ways to evolve.

Cities and governments are turning to IoT because it is a multi-dimensional asset. Solutions commonly support improved savings and efficiencies, but can also help to develop new products and revenue streams, new understandings of processes and customers, and new intelligence to drive business expansion.

Various governments across the globe are actively supporting the IoT and smart city sectors through funding and specific strategies. To name a few, Australia, India, Singapore, the European Union (EU), the United States (US), and the United Arab Emirates (AUE) are all supporting the sector with some heavy investments.

Looking at the United States, specifically, in December 2015 the Department of Transportation (DOT) offered up to $40 million in funding to the winner of the Smart City Challenge, jump starting cities’ commitments to smart initiatives.

Those cities participating in the challenge managed to gather $500 million in public and private investments to bring their smart city visions forward. Diving into some of the IoT investments US cities are making, most these smart improvements fall into governance, mobility and transport, and physical infrastructure categories.

Notably, the number of these projects are growing – looking at a sample of US cities, approximately 220 initiatives were carried out last year, while the same sample has plans to execute on nearly 300 in 2017.

This is only the beginning of governments making IoT investments to improve their cities. While not every country is currently committed to developing smart initiatives and strategies, as the technology continues to enter the mainstream, we can expect an increasing number of governments to begin developing these frameworks to help the expansion of the sector.

Currently, there are a list of specific areas in which governments can have an influence on the growth and adoption of IoT, including:

Autonomous vehicles: Where IoT can help to improve passenger safety, improve the flow of traffic in urban areas and better assess and manage how vehicles impact the environment.

Spectrum: When it comes to licensed spectrum, unlicensed spectrum and spectrum harmonisation, IoT can help to gain a better understanding of spectrum value and impact.

Workforce training: When it comes to training the workforce of tomorrow, IoT changes how employers think about education strategies, policies for industry knowledge and reframing a trajectory for training programs. Read more…


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