Premier of New Brunswick and Mayor of Fredericton to Provide Leadership for i-Canada, the New Canadian “Intelligent Communities” Program
February 24, 2011

Sarah Burns

(Left to right) - Premier David Alward signs leadership agreement with Bill Hutchison, Chair, i-CANADA in Toronto. Premier Alward will lend his leadership expertise to the i-CANADA Program as Chair of the i-CANADA Board of Governors.

TORONTO, February 24, 2011-- --  An initiative to boost the Canadian economy through the use of high-speed networking will learn from the examples set by the Province of New Brunswick and the City of Fredericton, according to the Chair of i-CANADA.  I-CANADA is backed by Canada’s largest high-tech organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) and “ although i-CANADA has not even been officially launched yet,  we already have almost 1,000 signatures from Canadian companies, individuals and institutions pledging support for the idea,” said Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA  Two communities in New Brunswick --  Fredericton and Moncton  --  have won awards as “Top Seven” finalists in the Intelligent Communities Forum’s prestigious award ceremony in New York.

“Our vision is that Canada’s networks are the rails of light carrying the engines of the Information Age,” said Bill Hutchison.    “We want companies to grow and thrive in Canada because ultra-broadband provides an ecosystem of accelerated business and social innovation and growth.  We consider New Brunswick to be a leader in this area as evidenced by the International Intelligent Community awards won by Moncton and Fredericton.  An important i-Canada goal is to support the sharing between communities of innovative initiatives and lessons learned and certainly the rest of Canada can benefit from understanding the success formula being used in New Brunswick.
 
An outstanding example of New Brunswick’s success is Stellar Learning Strategies. Stellar Learning Strategies (a Fredericton-based company) and its new German partner, Heidelberg mobil International Gmbh (HDM-I), have established a project known as the Fredericton i-Zone to pilot-test innovative mobile information systems for pedestrians and vehicles in the greater Fredericton area, focusing on location-based features and human-computer interaction on smart phones. Specific future applications include open telematics, networked vehicles, mobile 3D navigation systems and real-time video applications.

Premier Alward has agreed to Chair the Governors' Council of i-CANADA, working with other Provincial Premiers, business leaders, and community stakeholders across the country in developing i-Canada, the “Intelligent Nation.” 

“Premier Alward’s background as a human resource development and community development expert make him ideal to guide the work of i-CANADA,” said Mr. Hutchison. Premier Alward noted that “this brings nation-wide recognition that New Brunswick is on the leading edge of developments that are defining economic growth today, I am delighted that our province will gain profile from Canadian businesses and research organizations and participate in sharing information on how to lead other global regions and communities in the creation of tomorrow’s Intelligent Communities.”
 
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside has also agreed to participate.  “We are honoured that Mayor Woodside will add his considerable experience to the program,” said Mr. Hutchison. Mayor Woodside stated “Fredericton’s long-standing reputation as an Intelligent Community dates back to the early nineties when we set our sights on growing our knowledge industries. “ Since that time, Fredericton has achieved international recognition, named twice as one of the World’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities by Intelligent Community Forum of New York, and one of the North American Cities of the Future by Financial Times of London.  “We are successful because we work together -- we have been an integral partner with Enterprise Fredericton, the University of New Brunswick and Province of New Brunswick to advance our Knowledge Park.  The park is currently adding two new buildings to its campus including the national Centre of Excellence in Advanced Learning Technology (CEALT), and has attracted companies like RIM and Radian6.  The City of Fredericton has recognized the vital importance of intellectual infrastructure as a tool to cultivate the growth of our knowledge-based economy,” said Mayor Woodside.

John Reid, CEO and President, CATAAlliance, recently spoke alongside Premier Alward at the Carlisle Institute’s inaugural CEO Breakfast Series held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event also signaled the official launch of CATAAtlantic, CATA’s brand new Atlantic Division.  During Mr. Reid’s presentation, he praised the innovative thinkers in attendance and encouraged business leaders from the Atlantic region to show the world their success stories. Fredericton has been lauded as an innovation hub in Atlantic Canada and has been internationally heralded as a smart city with its innovative “Fred e-zone,” part of its city-owned fibre optic network, e-Novations.

The goal of the i-CANADA program is to support at least 30 Canadian communities in competing internationally for the Intelligent Community of the Year Award and other global recognition.  “In our vision new forms of intelligent ultra-broadband communications will accelerate Canada’s rate of business and social innovation and the rapid growth of young companies that can maintain control of their destinies,” stated Mr. Hutchison.  “Creating an Intelligent Nation requires national leadership, interest and support as well as local community motivation and effort.  The benefits being achieved by the world’s leading Intelligent Communities include economic growth, incoming investment, job creation and new dimensions in social prosperity.”  Innovation and community collaboration are the engines of growth and the foundation that leads to long term sustainable models of prosperous living for all. The leading 21st century Intelligent Communities will be green, smart and connected and all of them will have a foundation of advanced intelligent ultra broadband communications to support their governments, businesses, and consumers.    “Fredericton has a lot to teach the rest of Canada,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “As one of the World’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities, Fredericton contains 70 per cent of the province's knowledge industry, with Canada's largest per capita engineering cluster.  Its leadership in establishing Canada's first free, wireless city is an example that can be followed by others. Fredericton also has a skilled, young workforce to keep its momentum going.”  Fredericton is also earning international attention for its sustainability initiatives geared towards reducing the City’s ecological footprint -- a key component of the Intelligent Communities concept. 

About i-CANADA
 
i-CANADA is dedicated to the creation of smart communities across the country, in which Canadian communications are the rails of light carrying knowledge and ideas between the shining communities of a global intelligent economy. Its goal is to work with at least 30 Canadian communities, rural and local, to transform them into Intelligent Communities. ‘First the community, then the country’, is the motto that i-CANADA uses to visualize the evolution of Canada into one of the world’s Intelligent Nations.

About Stellar Learning Strategies & Heidelberg Mobil International  

Stellar is a Fredericton-based start-up, founded in August 2009, and HDM-I was founded in 2007 with 10 years of history as a spin-off of the prestigious European Media Laboratory. For more than 4 years, HDM-I has been operating a context-sensitive information portal via WIFI in Heidelberg and today there more than 20 major European cities and events powered by the company, which was introduced to Stellar by the NRC IIT in the fall of 2009. 

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