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UI Labs launches CityWorks urban incubator

UI Labs launches CityWorks urban incubator

PRESS RELEASE | March 24, 2015

UI LABS ANNOUNCES CITYWORKS TO SOLVE URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE

CHALLENGES THAT FACE CHICAGO AND CITIES ACROSS THE WORLD

Microsoft, Accenture, ComEd and Siemens join Chicago-based
consortium to innovate urban infrastructure

CHICAGO (March 23, 2015) – UI LABS, a public-private applied research and commercialization collaborative, today announced its second program, CityWorks,.

Created in collaboration with the City of Chicago, local academic institutions and civic partners, CityWorks includes founding members MicrosoftAccentureComEd, and Siemens. The consortium will develop and test urban infrastructure solutions in Chicago that will lead to transformative improvements in cities across the world.  

CityWorks will address challenges to the built environment and produce commercializable solutions in four key areas: energy management; physical infrastructure; water and sanitation systems; and transportation and logistics systems. While directional areas have been outlined, partners are now developing a strategic investment plan and prioritizing a list of curated projects. Six to eight demonstration projects will be launched in 2015, with the consortium announcing the first series of projects in the coming months.

“Infrastructure forms the backbone of our cities, our economy and our society,” said UI LABS Executive Director Caralynn Nowinski. “The challenges involved are so big that solutions require the combined efforts of the best and brightest at multiple organizations, which is what we have brought together to launch CityWorks.”

Nowinski continues, “The massive scale and complexity of cities and their infrastructure have often limited our ability to create the transformative improvements urban centers need. The goal is to use Chicago as a ‘test bed’ of urban innovation, drive breakthroughs, and create proven technology solutions that can be commercialized, scaled quickly and replicated in other cities.”

The challenges involved are so big that solutions require the combined efforts of the best and brightest at multiple organizations.
— Caralynn Nowinski, UI Labs

“Making sure that the City of Chicago works for residents in every neighborhood is critical to the continued growth of our city and its economy,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With the support of academia and the private sector, we believe that CityWorks will help us improve upon Chicago’s already world-class infrastructure for residents in neighborhoods throughout the city.”

MicrosoftAccentureComEdSiemens

Given the tremendous opportunities, CityWorks founding members are excited to help shape the innovation landscape and participate in the strategic direction. 

“Chicago is an ideal platform for exploring urban innovation, with a mix of old and new infrastructure, strong public sector support, world-class universities and an ever-growing startup scene,” said Dan’l Lewin, Corporate VP Technology and Civic Engagement of Microsoft, a founding member of CityWorks. “Microsoft believes that technology can empower people and organizations to tackle key societal challenges, and cities are at the forefront of discovery and impact for this movement. Deep cross-sector collaborations, such as CityWorks, allow us to apply Microsoft expertise in leveraging and integrating technology, data, and information to make urban areas stronger, safer, healthier and more resilient.”

Microsoft believes that technology can empower people and organizations to tackle key societal challenges, and cities are at the forefront of discovery and impact for this movement.
— Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft

“As a founding member of an innovative digital ecosystem such as CityWorks, Accenture can help to develop programs that can change the way people live and work,” said Jay Hedley, managing director, Accenture Digital - Mobility.  “Through our work on Intelligent Cities, Accenture understands the pressures urban centers are under from stakeholders including regulatory bodies and citizens. By helping to form CityWorks, we are at the forefront of helping municipalities rethink how they can grow and remain attractive, while meeting the sustainability mandate of the 21st century. Accenture has deep experience in many facets of Intelligent Cities, from smart grid solutions to infrastructure analytics and smart buildings. By applying this and our industry and technology experience as part of CityWorks, we can bring the potential benefits of digital to more people and cities, more quickly."

By helping to form CityWorks, we are at the forefront of helping municipalities rethink how they can grow and remain attractive, while meeting the sustainability mandate of the 21st century.
— Jay Hedley, Accenture Digital

“As a founding member in CityWorks, ComEd is continuing to fulfill the promise of the smart grid by fostering collaboration and seeking innovative technology that would help to create smarter, more resilient, greener energy benefits for our customers,” said Joe Svachula, VP, Engineering and Smart Grid, ComEd. “Our goal is to build a smart city model that focuses on improving livability, workability and sustainability.”

“Today’s cities are at the nexus of the megatrends of urbanization, climate change, globalization and demographic change. As these trends continue to shape the future of our communities, it is critical that an effective and efficient infrastructure is in place to contribute to resource conservation, economic vitality and an improved quality of life,” said Dave Hopping, President and CEO of Siemens’ North American-based Building Technologies Division. “A global leader in sustainable urban infrastructure, ranging from energy-efficient buildings and smart transportation systems to reliable and efficient power grids and water systems, Siemens is excited to collaborate with UI LABS on CityWorks. This project embodies the key focuses of our company around digitalization, automation and electrification for our cities and will help ensure that our cities remain at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

UI Labs' Caralynn Nowinski visited BuiltWorlds last week for Goose Island 2.0. She is flanked by R2's Matt Garrison on her right, and Structured Development's Mike Drew. Standing: CBRE's Dan Lyne. (Photo: Marty Malone.)

UI Labs' Caralynn Nowinski visited BuiltWorlds last week for Goose Island 2.0. She is flanked by R2's Matt Garrison on her right, and Structured Development's Mike Drew. Standing: CBRE's Dan Lyne. (Photo: Marty Malone.)

CityWorks and founding members Microsoft, Accenture, ComEd and Siemens have been working closely with the City of Chicago under the direction of Deputy Mayor Steve Koch and Chief Information Officer Brenna Berman. Chicago-based companies HBK Engineering and Level-1 Communications have joined the consortium to provide specific, technical expertise.

CityWorks’ academic and civic partners include:

·        Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning

·        Clean Energy Trust

·        Center for Neighborhood Technology

·        Illinois Institute of Technology

·        Illinois Science and Technology Coalition

·        Metropolitan Planning Council

·        Northwestern University

·        Smart Chicago Collaborative

·        University of Illinois at Chicago

·        University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·        World Business Chicago

CityWorks is seeking additional interested industry, academic and civic partners to join the project. After curating an inaugural slate of projects in 2015, dozens of additional projects will follow over the next five years. The project will officially launch in summer 2015. For additional information, please click to www.CityWorks.org.

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Media Contact:                                

Jason Harris, UI LABS, jason.harris@uilabs.org 630.240.8213

Jeff Philips, ASGK, jphilips@asgk.com 312.445.4816    

UI LABS solves large-scale industrial challenges by forming consortia of university, industry and civic partners who innovate and commercialize new technology solutions. UI LABS is developing a portfolio of applied research and commercialization programs that lead to a return on investment for its partners and improve local, regional and national competitiveness. Learn more at www.UILABS.org.

CityWorks, UI LABS’ second lab program, will develop and test urban infrastructure solutions in Chicago that will lead to real improvements in cities across the world. Its four areas of focus include energy management, physical infrastructure, water and sanitation systems, and transportation and logistics systems.   Learn more at website www.CityWorks.org.

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