Governor McAuliffe Announces Initial Findings and Recommendations Report of the Virginia Smart Communities Working Group
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the release of the Initial Findings and Recommendations Report of the Virginia Smart Communities Working Group (VASC). This report is in response to Executive Directive 13 which created the working group to develop a strategy positioning Virginia as a leader in Smart Communities.
“I greatly appreciate the hard work of the Virginia Smart Communities Working Group and expect these recommendations to put us on the track to become a global leader in smart cities,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Ultimately, our goal is to develop a replicable model to enable us to create these smart communities across the Commonwealth. We will improve Virginian’s quality of life by using the latest technologies to improve the efficiency of services and expand our ability to meet every Virginian’s needs.”
On September 18, 2017, the VASC, led by Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, Karen Jackson, held a kick-off meeting at the Virginia Tech Research Center with the goal of developing best practices, policies, processes and technologies to equip Virginia’s communities with the resources to become sustainable smart communities. The working group, which is being managed by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), also includes representatives from a variety of Virginia and Federal communities and entities, including the Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other private and non-profit sector organizations. Governor McAuliffe provided the opening remarks and chartered the group to deliver a set of actionable recommendations.
The group was divided into Committees that align with the NIST Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) SuperClusters, initially focusing on six specific areas and issues:
- City Platform/Dashboard & Data Governance,
- Energy, Water, and Waste Management
- Public Safety
- Public Wireless/Broadband
The report shares the initial findings and recommendations from each of the Committees as well as overarching themes. Some of the significant recommendations include:
- Create a funded, independent entity and cross-agency coordinating body for the Virginia Smart Communities effort.
- Launch a Virginia state competition to recognize outstanding efforts within the Commonwealth.
- Adopt interoperability standards along with a cybersecurity and privacy plan for Virginia’s Smart Communities.
- Continue to support broadband expansion throughout the Commonwealth.
- Create sustainable funding to continue Virginia’s Smart Communities efforts.
“This working group is an example of a successful partnership between federal and state representatives as well as industry and academic stakeholders that will allow for greater collaboration among like-minded entities,” said Sokwoo Rhee, Associate Director of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Innovation at Smart Grid and CPS Program at NIST. “Virginia is one of the first to focus their efforts on a comprehensive state-wide effort to support activities at the local city or county level by identifying and sharing best practices. We are very excited to see the results of this effort and expect this to serve as a model for other states to follow.”
The VASC’s work is ongoing, with an additional detailed report to be released in January 2018 that will provide further insights and actions for consideration, and a final report in June 2018 that will help position Virginia for continued leadership into the future in this critical area of economic growth and infrastructure.
To access the report or learn more about Virginia Smart Communities, please visit http://technology.virginia.gov/smartcommunities.