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Kansas City looks to create smart city network and start-up incubator

Signs letter of intent with Cisco

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Kansas City is looking to capitalise on the Internet of Things by building out a new city network and creating a tech incubator for start-ups with a focus on technologies that could address urban challenges.

The US city, home to over 450,000 people and based in the Midwestern state of Missouri, is looking to work with Cisco to deploy the networking and set up the incubator. 

To help ensure the proposals come to fruition, representatives from Kansas City and Cisco signed a letter of intent this week.

Kansas City wants to use the network to run a number of smart city projects in areas such as smart street lighting, infrastructure sensing, video surveillance, and digital kiosks that citizens can interact with. 

Sly James, Kansas City Mayor, said the work being done by local government leaders and Cisco will connect visitors and residents with the city’s services and infrastructure like never before.

The new incubator, dubbed “Living Lab”, will be set up in the city's innovation district by Cisco and a number of partners to support the city’s digital entrepreneurs looking to address some of the city’s biggest challenges.

“Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to build their own unique, innovative applications to enhance the public’s experience,” said Mayor James, who hopes that it will help Kansas City become the most entrepreneurial city in the US.

Cisco chief strategist for Kansas City Isaiah Blackburn said: “Innovative solutions that are not even on the drawing board will be developed once we connect the smart city ecosystem to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Cisco believes the Internet of Things represents a $4.6 billion opportunity for the public sector. 


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