January 20, 2018

Acadia’s Institute for Data Analytics to Support Smart Region Certification Program

Valley REN and i-Valley drive effort for global acknowledgement of regional “Sustainable and Smart Community” strength

January 22, 2018, Wolfville, Nova Scotia —   Acadia’s Institute for Data Analytics is taking on a supporting role for a project that will contribute to global “Sustainable and Smart Community” certification of the Annapolis Valley.  The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN) and i-Valley are lead partners in the effort, supported by CATAAlliance, Canada’s One Voice for Innovation lobby group

“It is our mantra at Acadia that rural Canada feeds our nation literally, economically, and environmentally,” said Danny Silver, Professor at Acadia’s Jodrey School of Computer Science and Director of the Institute.  “It provides the food, fiber, minerals, water and other bio-resources and natural resources on which our country depends.  Digital technologies and data analytics can help us shape how we work with these resources and guide their impact on our local communities and our planet, and in this regard, we are pleased to add our expertise to the World Council on City Data (WCCD) project.

“There is an unprecedented amount of data now available to organizations,” noted Professor Silver. “With the emergence of “Big Data”, there is a pressing need for professionals with strong quantitative skills and an understanding of how analytics can be applied to the critical decisions facing organizations.  Using data gathered for the WCCD project, we will bring the strengths of our Institute to bear to help municipal and regional governments with evidence-based planning and decision-making.”

The World Council on City Data (WCCD) has the only ISO Standard for certifying the performance of services and quality of life, to create smart, sustainable, resilient, and prosperous places.  The certification of a community or region as “Smart” under the WCCD, bestows upon it a prestigious place among global centres of social and economic leadership.  

“The benefits of Smart City certification are multifaceted,” stated W. Coby Milne, Interim CEO, Valley REN.  “It will help us to make informed decisions through regional data analysis; our partners in benchmarking areas for improvement and our municipalities by providing a valuable tool for municipal planning and development.  We can leverage funding with senior levels of government by using evidence-based information to support our cases. And we can attract investment from global and national players who would otherwise be unaware of the benefits of the Annapolis Valley.”

For all of these reasons, the Mayors, within the Valley REN area, are fully supportive of the WCCD project.

“With the help of Acadia’s Institute for Data Analytics, we will be able to reach out to the region and organize the data collection,” noted Terry Dalton, President of i-Valley.  “This access to high quality, globally recognized indicators are an asset that CAOs can use to map opportunities and fix weaknesses.  The better we become at collecting and analyzing this data, the more we can improve the way the communities work. Collectively, the ability to identify common issues is an incredible opportunity.

We are also honoured that the Annapolis Valley will be first Sustainable and Smart region comprised of the cooperative action of many small communities.”

The lessons from the Annapolis Valley could also benefit Canada, according to Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-Canada and a director of i-Valley. “As a sister organization to i-Valley, we look forward to the day when we can take our lessons from Nova Scotia and offer them to the world. We are convinced that Nova Scotia will shine with its commitment to high calibre, internationally standardised and comparable community data.”

i-Valley is a not-for-profit association of community and business leaders based in the Annapolis Valley. It is helping to develop capacity and adoption of information and communications technologies throughout Nova Scotia and in other Atlantic provinces.  

The Valley Regional Enterprise Network is an inter-municipal corporation serving Glooscap First Nation, the Municipality of the County of Kings, the Municipality of the District of West Hants, and the Towns of Berwick, Kentville, Middleton, Windsor and Wolfville, with the Province of Nova Scotia as a funding partner.

The WCCD is operationalizing the ISO 37120 standard in cities and communities globally. The WCCD’s ISO 37120 standard measures activity using 100 indicators across 17 themes, such as economy, education, energy, environment, finance and governance. Cities certified under WCCD’s ISO 37120 standard include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Boston, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Toronto.  See URLs:


Or contact:

Terry Dalton, President, i-Valley

Barry Gander, Co-Founder, i-Valley

Coby Milne, Interim CEO, Valley Regional Enterprise Network

James Patava, WCCD

Danny Silver, Professor, Jodrey School of Computer Science, Acadia University

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