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Syracuse partners to advance its smart city 'Surge'


The US city is collaborating with Syracuse University and Microsoft

to drive its smart initiatives forward.

Syracuse and its partners will collaborate on development, research and training

The US city of Syracuse, the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University (iSchool), and Microsoft have partnered on smart city data and technology initiative.

The entities will collaborate on development, research and training to help advance the city’s work in areas such as energy use, public safety, job creation and wider economic development goals.

Community-focused projects

Under the umbrella of the city’s Syracuse Surge initiative, the organisations say they have already explored a series of “high-impact”, community-focused projects in education and training, public safety and security, accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, and economic development and job creation.

The partners intend to further evaluate and begin work on them over the next 12 months while also considering other project possibilities. The parties are also seeking involvement from other public- and private-sector collaborators.

Representatives of all three organisations have met to explore the arrangement and to outline specific ways the multi-year collaboration can advance and reinforce their individual interests while working to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of the Syracuse area. This will include the creation of new jobs tied to the information and technology economy.

“Syracuse University and Microsoft have stepped forward to help the city drive the Syracuse Surge forward with greater impact for real people,” said Ben Walsh, mayor of Syracuse.

“This partnership will help us explore and deploy smart city applications that will make city services better and more efficient while also improving quality of life in our neighbourhoods. With this collaboration, we can more rapidly accomplish our goal of making Syracuse a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all.”

“While our students learn the principles of such transformative technologies as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and data science in our courses, this opportunity will help students across Syracuse University to gain new levels of career experience through application of these technologies in real-world community projects,” added Arthur Thomas, associate dean for academic affairs at the iSchool, professor of practice and director of the iConsult Collaborative at Syracuse University.

“Having Microsoft as a continuing partner and working closely with city project clients, our students will have a unique opportunity to prepare themselves for their future careers while contributing meaningful solutions to community issues that will bring about the digital transformation of the city of Syracuse.”

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