Governors Council Roundtable with The Honourable David Willets, Minister of State for Universities and Science, United Kingdom: “Aligning Canada and the U.K. for $1-trillion Market”
January 24, 2014

 i-CANADA Governors Council members are invited to participate in a special Roundtable with The Honourable David Willets, U.K. Minister of State for Universities and Science, on February 10, 2014, from 9:00 – 11:00, at the British High Commission office, 80 Elgin Street, Ottawa.

The meeting follows through on a Governors Council meeting on January 30th with the architect of the U.K.’s program, Allan Mayo. 

The February 10th meeting invites you to exchange views with the Minister on:

·              - Strengths of Canadian cities, which dominate the list of Most Intelligent Community contenders, and demand for services in U.K. cities;

·              - Use of technology for social care, energy management and intelligent transport systems and the results of demonstrators and investment;

·              - Examples of Canadian innovations such as the use of weather forecasting at the city level as a means of coping with harsh winter storms;

·            - The strategic fit between Canadian strengths and the U.K.’s innovation and business objectives, including global market areas where joint strengths will lead to sales;

·             -  Strategic use of standards by the U.K., with a representative on video link; and

·             - Potential for an alliance between Canadian and U.K. businesses. 

Minister Willetts was a key player in the formation of the U.K.’s Smart Cities Forum.  It met for the first time last month, to develop plans to support the creation of smarter cities in the UK.  The forum is being co-chaired by Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark; the combined approach unites the perspectives of innovation with the economy.

Minister Willets has stated that the goal is to make the UK the world leader in smart cities:  “We are well placed to take advantage of up to a $40 billion share of the market place by 2020, so we must make sure we do not miss this opportunity. The new Smart Cities Forum will bring the best minds together on a regular basis to establish a clear plan to exploit the exciting technologies that we have at our disposal.”

The Forum is a key part of the Information Economy Strategy. Published earlier this year (2013) the strategy involves government and industry working together to support a digital sector that employs around 1.5 million people in the UK.  Government is already investing in the development of new technologies to support this sector. £50 million is being invested by the Technology Strategy Board in a Future Cities Catapult in London that will support businesses looking to commercialise their products and get them into the market place.   It is also investing £24 million to create a future cities demonstrator in Glasgow to show how new integrated services across health, transport, energy and public safety can improve the local economy and increase the quality of life. It will also allow UK businesses to test new solutions that can be exported around the globe.

More information about Minister Willetts can be found at: 

Please RSVP ASAP (space is limited) to: 

Barry Gander
Co-Founder, i-CANADA
EVP, Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance 

Background on i-CANADA

i-CANADA is the Accelerator Centre for the creation of Intelligent Communities in Canada.  It provides:

          A Focused Pool of experts from all fields for best practices;

          Business Plans based on sector interviews and discovery;

          Measurement Models to track ROI, ongoing development;

          Forums to align community stakeholders including local govt, SME’s, Research, Education, Utilities , Health, Public Safety;

          Education to build demand and fills the pipe;

          Champions to share across the country;

          Webinars, Video Interviews, on topics such as Open Data; and

          SUMMITs and Awards that tie in with the ICF annual event

Through these services, i-CANADA helps communities within Canada increase their level of innovation and prosperity, and sharpens their export focus on the $1-trillion global market (2016) for smart cities[1]