Related article: Saint John One of Smart 21 - October 21, 2011
SAINT JOHN – Saint John’s renaissance has caught the world’s attention.
The city has been named one of the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities by the Intelligent Community Forum, an international-based think-tank dedicated to economic and social development in the broadband economy.
The designation recognizes Saint John’s culture of innovation, particularly in the growth of ICT start-ups, the development of public services and the connections between the city’s schools – and in particular UNB Saint John – and the wider community.
“Being named one of the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities is great news for Saint John and proof we have something special here,” said Mayor Ivan Court.
“In Saint John it is all about collaboration. We help each other, in business and in life, and that’s why these businesses and individuals are successful.”
The ICT sector has played a central role transforming Saint John from an industrial city to an intelligent Community. Steve Carson, Enterprise Saint John CEO explained, “Through our Community’s True Growth philosophy we have balanced our social, cultural, environmental and economic priorities to create an environment where people want to live, work and raise a family. For any successful community, you have to be attractive to people. The Top7 designation is another way we are telling the world that Saint John is a magnet for innovation, creativity and business investment where you can live life on your terms.”
Over 50 people, representing the ICT, public, education and non-profit sectors helped put the application together.
Some of Saint John’s accomplishments include:
• Bell Aliant’s FibreOp, which boasts the fastest speeds in Canada;
• Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick, home to the most advanced distance medical education system in Canada, part of the Tucker Park Knowledge Cluster which includes UNB Saint John’s new Hans W. Klohn Commons, the NBCC Allied Health Building and the Saint John Regional Hospital.
• School District 8, which has a number of innovative programs connecting high school students with ICT, including the FIT program at St. Malachy’s High School, the Teen Apprenticeship Program at Simonds High School and the Gaia Project, now underway at all four city high schools.
• The Saint John Police Force’s intelligence-led policing, which has enabled the force to significantly reduce crime in Saint John, ranking the city in the top 10 percentile of Canadian police forces.
• The City of Saint John’s Sustainable Energy Management Program, the first municipal program in Canada, which since it began in 1996, has reduced overall energy consumption by 15 per cent.
• A robust start-up culture, which nurtured the creation of companies such as Brovada, the leading supplier of connectivity solutions to Canada’s insurance sector; DealerMine, an industry leader in vehicle dealership customer relationship software; and Radian6, the social media analytics firm named the 2011 Venture Capital Deal of the Year.
• Mariner Partners, one of the largest independently-owned ICT companies in Atlantic Canada and a leader in the development of Internet Protocol TV (IPTV).
• Aquila Tours leadership in the cruise industry, including its Tour Guide Excellence certification program, cited by the Conference Board of Canada as a stellar example of workplace learning.
• T4G, which has grown tenfold in Saint John, with its culture of creative thinking, through internal competitions such as the Big Brain Throwdown.
• Innovatia and its successful internal R&D, including the Innovatia Research Chair at UNB Saint John.
For more information on the Intelligent Community Forum please visit the website at www.intelligentcommunity.org