City to participate in ‘Smart City’ initiative

City to participate in ‘Smart City’ initiative

Aim is to make Abbotsford more attractive to foreign investment

The City of Abbotsford is partnering with an international research group to try to boost innovation and attract more technologically oriented companies.

The city has teamed up with the Intelligent Community Forum, which evaluates cities across the world on how “smart” they are.

It’s hoped participating in the forum – which included a session Wednesday on smart infrastructure and attracting foreign investment – will help spur growth in Abbotsford.

The Smart City Abbotsford will try to create a “how-to book” that evaluates which “smart” infrastructure, digital technologies and other indicators are necessary to compete in the global market.

The goal is to create a “Smart Infrastructure Foreign Direct Investment Readiness Strategy.”

The project is funded through a $50,000 grant from the federal government, along with matching funds from the city, the University of the Fraser Valley and Telus.

The city has budgeted up to $65,000 of its own money for the program.

John Jung, the chairman of Intelligent Communities Forum, said the aim is to build leadership capacity, increase the city’s ability to market itself, and catalogue its assets, and where it can improve.