Stafford County and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Announce Opening of the First Virginia Smart Community TestbedWatch the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Virginia Smart Community Testbed
Stafford, VA, May 25, 2021 — Stafford County and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to formally establish the opening of the new Virginia Smart Community Testbed. The Testbed, located next to the Stafford Government Center at 2143 Jefferson Davis Hwy, is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth. Testbeds are a way of testing new technologies in a real-world setting, a method that drives faster innovation. This Testbed will help propel both Stafford and Virginia to the forefront of smart community adoption across the country and the world.
“Innovation is the key to creating new jobs, driving economic growth, and tackling our biggest challenges,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This testbed will help build Virginia’s first smart community in Stafford County and serve as a living laboratory to pilot smart city technologies. This is exactly the type of public-private partnership we need to make the delivery of goods and services more effective and efficient, reduce our carbon footprint, and improve the health and well-being of our communities, our Commonwealth, and our country.”
The smart community market is entering its fourth generation, moving from one-offs and stand-alone prototypes to fully functional integrated systems that address local issues and support growth and development – adopting the data-driven processes that smart communities enable will be a key to growth for every locality, no matter its size. The demand for the benefits of using smart technologies in multiple sectors is there, and the market will increase in the next few years. This opening of the Virginia Smart Community Testbed helps to ensure that Virginia maintains a leading role in the nation by demonstrating how innovative smart technology is and how it helps benefit people.
Several state and local leaders attended the opening ceremony today, including Virginia Secretary of Commerce & Trade Brian Ball, Crystal Vanuch, Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, and U.S. Representative Rob Wittman, who toured the facility and made brief remarks. There were live drone demonstrations, exhibits of special sensors to monitor flood potential, air quality and wastewater, and more.
“It is exciting to be here today to launch this project in Stafford,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The Testbed will provide a living laboratory for entrepreneurs and a center of expertise for communities across the Commonwealth seeking to understand these emerging technology capabilities.”
“This is a significant day in Stafford, and I am delighted that our partners from the state and private industry were here to support us,” said Stafford Board of Supervisors Crystal Vanuch. “This is a wonderful opportunity to be the first integrated smart community testbed in the state, and I look forward to the innovations and contributions this testbed delivers in new technology to help our community and other communities.”
As the established leader of Smart Communities initiatives on behalf of the Commonwealth, the Center for Innovative Technology partnered with Stafford on the testbed project in 2019 as part of a comprehensive plan to build the new “smart” community in Stafford. Smart Stafford is the first Smart City Testbed in Virginia involving an IoT platform, fully integrated with 5G and other new and emerging technologies for Smart Cities in the state.
“The testbed enables us to explore and validate a wide range of emerging technologies from IoT to Artificial Intelligence to data security in a real-world setting,” said David Ihrie, Chief Technology Officer of the Center for Innovative Technology. “The opportunity to then directly field successful technologies in Smart Stafford is a huge bonus, enabling entrepreneurs and more established companies alike to understand the market they are serving. “The event featured technology demonstrations involving more than 15 commercial partners who worked together to create an integrated, extensible baseline technology plan customizable for communities large and small.
About the Smart Community Testbed:
The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and Stafford County are the Testbed’s founding partners. OST, Inc. (OST) is the prime systems integrator and a founding partner. This public-private partnership makes up the Testbed Executive Committee.
As part of the new Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), CIT accelerates next-generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, and market development initiatives. The CIT Strategic Initiatives area focuses on defining and piloting emerging technology sectors that are important for economic growth in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Smart Communities Testbed is a key element of our Smart Communities initiatives and provides a model and expertise for other communities seeking to adopt Smart Community technologies. For more information on CIT and CIT Smart Initiatives: www.cit.org | www.cit.org/vasmart
About Smart Stafford
Stafford is a smart place for innovation. Stafford has a rich foundation in cyber technology and intends to enhance that strength with the inclusion of smart-city technology. The vision for Smart Stafford started with the Board’s Strategic Plan 2040 to consider opportunities to invest in technologies that will improve the lives of our residents, businesses, and visitors. The Virginia Smart Community Testbed provides the technology that will help us meet that vision. The Testbed in Stafford will unlock critical new resources and foster business investments across Stafford County and the Commonwealth. Learn more about Smart Stafford initiatives. For additional information on Smart Stafford: www.gostaffordva.com | www.cit.org/virginia-smart-community-testbed
Based in McLean, VA, OST, Inc. (OST) is a systems integrator that has delivered innovative technology, project management, and consulting and engineering services for more than 20 years. Specializing in advanced technologies such as smart, cybersecurity, cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), predictive analytics, and data visualization, et al, OST consultants and engineers also optimize business processes and staffing to deliver a total business solution. As a strategic partner, OST provides systems integration services for Virginia Smart City Testbed (VSCT) in Stafford County, manages the Smart Airport Testbed at FAA’s Tech Center in Atlantic City, and supports federal, state and local contracts for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (PA), District of Columbia (DC), and others. For additional information about OST: www.ostglobal.com