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Cisco, Kansas City Launch Plan to Enhance Connectivity and Innovation

Cisco and officials in Kansas City have signed a joint letter of intent (LOI) to engage in a program to create a “living lab” for entrepreneurial development, establish smart street lighting and video surveillance, provide digital interactive kiosks and mobile apps to boost citizens’ engagement.

The LOI also enables access for Kansas City to the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities™ (S+CC) reference architectures and provides a framework for defining and evaluating various related initiatives. Cisco also will assist Kansas City in developing a digital agenda. The project will complement a wider effort to build out a two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar path.

To help foster innovation, Cisco will work with Think Big Partners and other companies to manage a Kansas City “living lab” for entrepreneurial development. This lab will serve as an incubator for these open ecosystem participants and the startup community to develop new solutions to address some of the city’s greatest challenges.

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

Next steps for the partnership include discussing detailed designs and business structures and identifying smart services with the recruitment of additional companies. A final selection on pilot projects will be rolled out by the end of June.

Last month, Cisco signed a similar agreement with the City of Hamburg in Germany.

Cisco believes the next big thing will not be one thing but the connections between many things: the Internet of things (IoT) or as Cisco calls it, the Internet of Everything. IoT allows people and devices to communicate between each other, make better and quicker decisions, and illuminate the connections and interactions between things from climate change and traffic to healthcare.


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