Siemens predicts that by 2050, 70 % of humanity will live in urban centers. As the population of city dwellers increases, so will urban problems such as traffic congestion, pollution, and wasted energy. Coloradans have experienced these issues first hand as the second fastest growing state in the nation. As a result there is an growing need for the public and private sector to collaborate and implement technological solutions and make our cities smarter.

Written by: Belle Raab

The Smart Cities market is growing rapidly according to a report compiled by Siemens. The global market size is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2019 with the United States being one of the leading countries followed by China and Germany. The 19.9% growth rate in this industry is a result of increasing urbanization, a shift in societal focus to resource conservation, and an industry emphasis on power efficiency.

Types of Smart City Technology

The smart technology can be broken into nine different areas:screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-3-28-40-pm

The fastest growing segment is Smart Energy which is predicted to be 15.8% of the global smart city market by 2015.

Image Source: Frost & Sullivan

Emerging Trends

As this market matures several important trends are emerging. The first is the growing number of public-private partnerships. This collaboration is key to the implementation of smart technology on a large scale. However, these partnerships have led to a second trend of increasingly stringent standards and government regulations. Although these regulations may make the implementation of smart technology more difficult, the recent internet-wide technology hack makes a compelling argument as to why stricter government standards are necessary. The final trend is the increasing number of compatibility standards in order for the technology to be scalable and long-lasting in a capricious technological environment.

Colorado Smart Technology

Colorado has recently been recognized as an opportune location for the implementation of Smart City technology. Denver recently participated in the year long (2015-2016) Smart City Challenge grant competition offered by the U.S. Department of Transportation and was selected as one of seven finalists from the 78 cities that applied.

Read Denver’s final Smart City Challenge submittal (May 2016) or watch the video to learn more.

Although Denver did not win the Smart City Challenge, earlier this month the City of Denver was awarded a $6 Million federal grant to advance smart transportation initiatives that will fund three projects that utilize advanced technology directly to improve transportation safety, efficiency, and community health.

Denver is also partnering with Panasonic to bring smart technology to the Denver airport and Pena Station. The first initiative is the development of a microgrid energy storage solution for the airport followed by a second initiative to implement Smart LED Streetlights at the airport.

Jim Doyle, President of Panasonic Eco Solutions Company, has cited the vision of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock as the principal reason for Panasonic opting to partner with the Mile High City and even relocate their Enterprise Solutions Division headquarters to Denver in 2016.

Many smart technology startups are also headquartered in Colorado but there will be another blog on that to follow.

Fort Collins as a Smart City

Urbanization will affect even small cities like Fort Collins, which is the 10th fastest growing population hub in the country. The increase in population puts pressure on our city’s resources and therefore there is a growing demand for Smart City technology.

To take responsibility for the city’s affect on the climate, the City of Fort Collins has developed a road map (Climate Action Plan) to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Fortunately, the city also sees Smart City technology as playing a critical role in achieving this goal.

Last month the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and Innosphere collaborated and held an EV challenge competition in order to find a solution to the city’s limited charging capacity. The winner, Qmulus, will be able to test and demonstrate the technology solution within the Fort Collins Utilities electric grid.

As cited previously, collaboration between the public and private sector is key for the development of Smart Cities. Which is why Fort Collins is positioned as an ideal location to develop and implement smart technology.

If you are interested in working with Innosphere to commercialize and deploy your Smart City solutions in Colorado, contact Hardware & Software Program Director, [email protected]

About Innosphere:

Innosphere is a non-profit technology incubator accelerating the success of high-impact science and technology startups. Innosphere has two physical locations in Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado to support entrepreneurs building potential, high-growth companies in the industries of health innovations, life sciences, software, hardware, energy, and advanced materials. Innosphere’s incubation program focuses on ensuring companies are investor ready, connecting them with experienced advisors, and making introductions to corporate partners. Once accepted into the program, companies receive customized development plans and ongoing support to ensure they’re getting the know-how to raise the right kind of capital, and all the resources to grow –– exponentially.