On January 18th, The Intelligent Community Forum named its 2012 Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year at the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s annual conference (PTC’12) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The ICF’s Top Seven are communities that provide a model of economic and social development in the 21st Century using information and communications technology to power growth, address social challenges and preserve and promote culture. The Top Seven announcement is the second stage of ICF’s annual Intelligent Community of the Year awards cycle.
As the only European city, Oulu was named to ICF’s Top Seven, and is now a finalist for the Intelligent Community Award, which will be presented on June8, 2012 at ICF’s summit in New York. There were altogether 364 applications in the competition this year. Louis Zacharilla, Director of Development and a founding member of ICF, stated that “it was extraordinary that Oulu made it already to the Top21 with their first time ever application. And now that they’ve made it to the Top Seven is a success story beyond comparison in the history of ICF.”
The Top Seven represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century. Each community exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world. They are charting new paths to lasting prosperity for their citizens, businesses and institutions.
ICF defines every year a theme that guides the nominations for the Intelligent Community of the Year. The 2012 theme is Intelligent Communities – Platforms for Innovation. Innovation is one of ICF’s five permanent Indicators, which are used to judge communities seeking award status. However, the special theme focuses on how Intelligent Communities create uniquely powerful innovation ecosystems on a foundation of information and communications technology. The other judging criteria consist of such aspects as Broadband Connectivity, Knowledge Workforce, Digital Inclusion and Marketing and Advocacy. All indicators that are realized in Oulu exceptionally well. The international jury was especially impressed by the degree of close collaboration of business and research institutions on all levels in Oulu. During the final stage of the competition, an ICF representative will be visiting Oulu to validate the application and to produce a report for the jury.
Besides Oulu, in the first competition stage the 2012 honorees included 3 other communities from Europe: Barcelona (Spain), Frankfurt (Germany) and Heraklion (Greece). In the past, the winning nomination has gone to cities like Stockholm, Singapore and New York. Oulu’s application was submitted by the Innovations and marketing group of Oulu, BusinessOulu and CIE (Center for Internet Excellence).
TOP SEVEN IN 2012:
Austin, Texas, USA.
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Riverside, California, USA.
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
Taichung City, Taiwan
Pauliina Pikkujämsä, Head of Marketing, BusinessOulu
Outi-Rouru Kuivala, Project Manager, City of Oulu
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