NAIT applied research to make cities ‘smarter’
Applied research at NAIT will help support new “smart cities” initiatives, which involve using technology to improve urban living and the delivery of services. This became official with the signing of a memorandum of understanding forming a provincial Smart City Alliance, comprising the City of St. Albert, NAIT, the University of Alberta, IBM Canada and CICSO Canada.
“As a leading polytechnic actively involved in applied research with industry, the Smart City Alliance presents new opportunities for us to collaborate with the City of St. Albert and participating partners,” said NAIT President and CEO Dr. Glenn Feltham. “We are pleased to be a part of this initiative, which has the potential to engage our students and faculty in applied research in a technology-rich environment for the benefit of Albertans.”
Smart Cities embrace technology and advanced data analytics to improve residents’ lifestyles, create new economic opportunities and improve efficiencies. Using networks of sensors, cameras and other wireless devices, smart cities collect real-time data, measure performance and report issues. This technology could enable residents to use a smartphone to check for available parking spaces downtown or receive real-time alerts for water consumption spikes at home, among other things.
“The possibilities are endless, and will stretch well beyond the borders of St. Albert throughout the Capital Region,” said NAIT Provost and VP Academic Dr. Neil Fassina. “We’re excited to lend our expertise and know-how to this initiative. This will be another tremendous opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience developing practical, technology-based solutions.”
St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse also recognized the potential of the Alliance, noting that “our alliance partners are global leaders in urban research and innovation, including the best practices and technologies that support smart applications. Our council and administration have taken a leadership role in supporting this collaboration, and we are thrilled to work with our partners to promote solutions that will benefit St. Albert and other cities across our province.”
NAIT is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With more than 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.
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