Sault Ste. Marie sets a ‘smart’ example

Sault Ste. Marie ON– By leveraging public data for public good, Sault Ste. Marie has set an example for what it means to be a ‘smart’ city. The recent federally funded case study, Building Data-Smart City Solutions, examines how Acorn Information Solutions, a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, and its partners, use data to improve the community.

With 20 years of experience and approximately 50 partnerships and clients locally, and over 100 across Ontario and Canada, Acorn Information Solutions is the best example for how municipalities can use multi-enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS) data to create efficiencies in municipal operations and planning, improve health and human services, stimulate economic development and more.

“This case study provides support to best practices regarding the Smart City Challenge that is being sponsored by Infrastructure Canada. The Challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology,” says Peter Bruijns, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. “The case study that was done on the Innovation Centre’s existing use of GIS technology and its impacts within the community shows how the Sault is paving the way for other municipalities to follow. We encourage everybody to read the document and learn how this shared data partnership is improving our community.”

CFN Consultants Inc., a security and defence consultancy out of Nova Scotia, is quoted in the document and describes the Sault’s use of shared data as “without question, the most advanced organization of its type in Canada.”

Building Data-Smart City Solutions focuses on how we have been able to share an immense amount of data among many community partners to improve quality of life, drive economic development and realize municipal/utility efficiencies, explains Paul Beach, Manager of Acorn Information Solutions. “The goal was to document how we created this solution, the partnerships, how it works functionally and maintains privacy, and what benefits are realized by it all.”

To read Building Data-Smart City Solutions, visit Completion of the case study was made possible through funding received from FedNor.

About the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre:
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) is a non-profit organization established in 1999 to function as a catalyst for economic development and diversification in the information technology and science knowledge-based sectors in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma region. SSMIC’s mission is to drive business growth, facilitate research and commercialize innovation in globally significant areas of science and technology through partnerships, expert advice, community development, business incubation, youth outreach and sector development activities.

About Acorn Information Solutions:
Acorn Information Solutions (AIS) (formerly known as the Community Geomatics Centre) is a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. AIS is dedicated to promoting and
establishing the means to share data, knowledge and tools among organizations to create
healthier, safer and more prosperous communities.


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