Chris Gould says Sarnia-Lambton is “punching above its weight class” when it comes to positioning itself as a community that represents one of the best models of economic, social and cultural development in the digital age.
That’s what the Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 Communities program is all about and Sarnia and Lambton County have made the list for the fourth year running.
It’s no easy feat, considering there were about 400 communities vying for a spot, said Gould, whose “day job” is with Bluewater Regional Networks, the subsidiary of Bluewater Power that is focused on running a digital fibre optic internet service throughout the area.
Names on the list, which also includes Winnipeg, Greater Victoria, and Abbotsford, B.C., were announced on October 25 in Hamilton.
Judging for the Smart21 Communities of 2019 included evaluation of an area’s broadband access, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equity, sustainability and advocacy.
For Sarnia-Lambton, having six of the top 15 chemical producers globally doing business in the area is a natural foundation for even further growth and innovation.
Efforts to diversify even more are ongoing, with one example being the Innovation Bridge initiative that hopes to develop an IT cluster for the area.
Sarnia-Lambton benefits from having Lambton College as part of its development.
Gould said the development of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada was also seen to be a positive move forward. That organization is helping bring renewable technologies to market.
Meanwhile, Sarnia-Lambton’s team on the Smart21 initiative is already working on an application for the Intelligent Communities Forum top seven communities, with that list to be announced in February.
A video, produced by TMRWW Inc., became part of Sarnia-Lambton’s presentation at the Hamilton event: