Snohomish County is pursuing establishment of a Smart County, potentially making it the first in the State of Washington and second in the nation. The concept centers on deploying technology within all areas of Snohomish County, including rural and urban areas. A Smart County would draw innovative ideas to the region from both the private and public sectors to spur economic growth, accessibility and connectivity for all residents.
The concept comes after Snohomish County’s participation in a regional trade mission to Guadalajara and Mexico City, organized and led by the Trade Development Alliance and Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The mission included multiple meetings with various technology companies and startups in both cities.
“Technology is a large part of everyday life. After seeing the innovative ways that others use technology, I realized that there was an opportunity for Snohomish County to do something similar,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “The establishment of a Smart County would allow for the application of technology in a way that provides convenience and better service for all of our residents.”
On May 23, Snohomish County released a request for information (RFI) for the establishment of a Smart County. It can be accessed here. The RFI allows staff to gather information that will assist the County in understanding existing technology used by other Smart Cities and identify firms that can provide infrastructure solutions. It will also allow the County to assess the interest of public and private entities in forming partnerships to enable the deployment of technology services.
“It’s incredibly exciting that Snohomish County wants to build the smart communities of the future,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene. “Through investments in smart infrastructure projects, we can support the growth and deployment of new technologies in our communities and generate real value for constituents. At a time when so much of the public discourse is about supporting the jobs of tomorrow and making government work for the citizens it serves, the opportunity of smart communities should be something we can all agree on.”
“We applaud Snohomish County’s work to become the first Smart County in our state and lead the way for others to envision and unleash innovation and growth through technology,” said Dr. Joseph Williams, director of information and communications technology sector development at the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Creating new opportunities to serve rural and underserved communities is a key priority in Commerce’s core mission of strengthening communities everywhere in Washington.”
“Washington Technology Industry Association is pleased to see Snohomish County’s desire to create a Smart County,” said WTIA CEO Michael Schutzler. “Technology is an integral part of our lives and establishing infrastructure allows technology to be reached and utilized by everyone from urban areas to rural communities.”
“The Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle is excited to learn of Snohomish County’s efforts to become a Smart County. TDA looks forward to globally promoting this new initiative as an example of integrating innovative technologies into everyday lives. It is a wonderful regional and national example of the value that comes from looking to other parts of the world for best practices when it comes to economic competitiveness. This is a big goal of the International Leadership Mission program,” said Neepaporn “A” Boungjaktha, Interim President at the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.
A Smart City/County uses information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things technology (IoT) to manage government assets and enhance the quality and performance of services. The technology allows for a gathering and analysis of data to tackle inefficiency within government services, improved communications between residents and government, and reduced costs and resource consumption. The concept can be replicated to produce a Smart County, Smart State, or even Smart Country.
Those interested in applying for the Smart County RFI should visit: snohomishcountywa.gov/smartcounty.
This is taken from a Snohomish County news release.