TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today marks the official launch of Innovate Cities, a not-for-profit network of innovators dedicated to creating more inclusive, livable and sustainable cities. Innovate Cities is a first-of-its-kind, helping to drive Canadian smart city innovation and commercialization by providing innovators with the tools they need to connect, create and scale - all while protecting every citizen’s privacy.
“With more than 80% of the Canadian population calling cities home, our urban communities are under significant strain. We need to adapt to create more resilient, healthier and happier places to live,” says Hugh O’Reilly, Executive Director and Board Member of Innovate Cities. “Access to data is the key to unlocking this potential, but it cannot be done without a governance model and corresponding infrastructure that protects individual privacy and earns trust. With a new model, smart city technology can be regulated much like any other service to ensure that it is working for citizens rather than against them.”
Innovate Cities innovation infrastructure protects data privacy, promotes collaboration and accelerates commercialization through its four core offerings:
- CityShield: The Privacy by Design data trust is the foundation of Innovate Cities’ work. CityShield protects personal privacy and unleashes innovation by enabling data collectors (e.g., property owners, app developers) to share strongly deidentified data within the network. To ensure privacy is always upheld, Innovate Cities has established the role of an independent Chief Privacy Officer, filled by world-leading privacy expert Dr. Ann Cavoukian, who will work to ensure compliance with extensive privacy standards and act as an avenue for complaints from innovators, businesses and the public. Additionally, an External Advisory Board is being developed to inform policies and guidelines, and Innovate Cities will undertake an independent annual audit, which will be made publicly available online.
- CityStack: A series of smart city technologies are already available that can be implemented to make any building ‘smart’ today. These solutions can help address a variety of issues and challenges, including post-pandemic return to work, monitoring and appropriate cleaning of spaces in office buildings, regulating energy usage for a cleaner and better environment, and much more.
- CitySphere: Innovate Cities’ innovator community will highlight the importance of collaboration as an essential piece of innovation. By encouraging an ecosystem that is rooted in collaboration, partnerships will be developed which help to accelerate the commercialization of technologies.
- CityScape: Innovate Cities’ innovation marketplace in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade, allows innovators to connect with potential clients from the real estate sector (major tenants, commercial property owners, and service providers) who can implement smart city technologies to improve the urban experience of people who use their spaces.
Innovate Cities embeds Privacy by Design, the gold standard of privacy principles, across its offering and adheres to the highest privacy standards, including SOC 2, GDPR, PIPEDA, and ISO-27001, requiring its network of innovators to do the same.
“I decided to work with Innovate Cities because of their strong belief in protecting privacy, by design,” says Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Innovate Cities’ independent Chief Privacy Officer. “All data they collect will be strongly deidentified of personal identifiers, rendering it free of privacy risks. Privacy and smart cities — win/win!”
Committed to following the constantly evolving data privacy landscape, the organization is also working closely with the CIO Strategy Council on an ongoing basis to develop new standards in the sector.
Innovate Cities is a not-for-profit network of innovators creating more inclusive, livable and sustainable cities. We believe that an advanced innovation infrastructure – with data privacy at its core – will drive the kind of smart city innovations that create better, safer places to live, work and connect, while contributing to Canada’s economic prosperity.
Innovate Cities is a first-of-its-kind. We help drive Canadian smart city innovation and commercialization by providing innovators with the tools they need to connect, create and scale. We embed Privacy by Design, the gold standard of privacy principles, into everything we do. We provide expert oversight and accountability through each of our offerings to maintain transparency, ensure that data is being used solely for its intended purpose and earn public confidence and trust.
Located in Southern Ontario, Innovate Cities is committed to promoting collaboration and helping innovators develop solutions that accelerate Canada’s economy and turn aspirations into action.
Find out more at Innovatecities.com.