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The Connective joins multi-state smart city collaboration between Arizona, North Texas groups



June 17, 2021 -- The North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA), a 501(c)3 regional consortium of nearly 30 municipalities, agencies, corporations and academic institutions across North Texas; The Connective, a Greater-Phoenix research and implementation partnership between public sector, academia, industry, and civic institutions; and The Southern Arizona Smart Region, led by the Regional Partnering Center (RPC), a 501(c)3 regional group of nearly 30 public-private partners and academic institutions in southern Arizona, have come together to demonstrate the power of multi-regional cooperation.


These organizations were initially formed to develop public and private sector support and funding to build the region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life for residents through the design and adoption of innovative approaches, including smart city solutions. Each organization seeks to create the most connected, smart and resilient region in their respective areas of the country. By coming together, each region strengthens its original mission while amplifying the geographic scope which expands opportunities for all cross-sector participants.


A holistic view of a smart region encompasses the use of data, technology and community to improve quality of life, inclusive economic development and resource efficiency. As local governments continue to adapt to evolving resident expectations, budget shortfalls, aging infrastructure, and emerging technology to improve service delivery, the regional cooperation model is emerging as a way for local leaders to stay on top of trends and address the challenges. New solutions and business models are emerging that give governments new avenues to partner with the private sector to deliver new or improved services.


“By coming together in partnership, we can evaluate the best ways to address shared challenges, as well as the barriers that inhibit the deployment of solutions. A natural place to begin collaboration between geographies is how to utilize financial models that allow the public sector to capture revenue and accelerate sustainable investments in innovative solutions. The goal of this partnership is to accelerate learnings, build connections, and ultimately identify approaches that will improve cities and towns throughout our respective regions,” explains Jen Sanders, NTXIA Executive Director.


The desire to design new revenue models, monetization strategies and sustainable financial models are core pillars for each consortium. Adequately funding smart city solutions while also ensuring limited resources are allocated toward meeting traditional service delivery obligations, can be a challenge for many of the member cities and towns.


“Our role to find innovative solutions that address regional challenges and lead to the economic benefit of our communities depends on public and private partnerships,” said Dr. Satish Hiremath, Chairman of the RPC. “However, delivering innovative solutions requires new funding sources. This broader collaborative effort brings thought leaders together to pursue new and creative avenues of funding necessary to drive results that advance the quality of living in our communities.”


Dominic Papa, Executive Team Member of the Connective and Vice President of Smart State Initiatives at the Arizona Commerce Authority states, “This partnership will create the environment necessary to ensure sustainable growth and stability for each region for generations to come. A coordinated multi-region approach is the right model to coordinate testing, deployment and financial sustainability that can be leveraged and scaled both nationally and globally.”


The NTXIA, Connective and RPC intend to come together to explore and evaluate submissions that result from a Call for Revenue Generating Solutions for Municipalities and Regions, which is a partnership initiative between NTXIA and Marketplace.city. The resulting analyses seeks to provide insight on the diverse landscape of opportunities that provide new revenue and financial models that can accelerate priority projects. This Call for Solutions presents an opportunity to tactically approach this priority together.

Additional activities undertaken by the collective consortiums will include member communications and education, convening and participating in virtual events and workshops, and ultimately seek to establish dual-region projects and joint research opportunities.

More information on the partnership and outcomes will be announced later this summer. Interested municipalities and consortiums are invited to reach out to info@ntxia.org to express interest in joining the NTXIA, Connective and RPC in this opportunity.


About the North Texas Innovation Alliance

The North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA) is a 501(c)3 consortium of key cross-sector stakeholders working to build and implement a smart region strategy for North Texas. The mission of the NTXIA is to build the most connected, smart, and resilient region in the country. NTXIA was launched to collaboratively utilize data, technology and community to address the most pressing topics to create solutions that will improve quality of life, drive inclusive economic development and promote resource efficiency. For more information, please visit www.NTXIA.org, or follow LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.


About The Connective

The Connective (CONNECTIVE) is a collaborative research and implementation partnership between public sector, academia, industry, and civic institutions to drive the creation, advancement, and adoption of smart city technology on a regional scale, to improve the quality of life for all citizens and businesses within our communities.


About the Regional Partnering Center (RPC)

The Regional Partnering Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that advances policies, practices and solutions to regional planning, environmental and energy challenges in Pima County, was established by Pima Association of Governments. PAG is the region’s association of governments and metropolitan planning organization for transportation, air quality management, water quality and solid-waste planning.


Contacts:

Jen Sanders, NTXIA, jsanders@ntxia.org, (214) 909-0400

Dominic Papa, Arizona Commerce Authority, domp@azcommerce.com, (602) 845-1222

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