“Smart City” is a term that has become more frequently used in the past decade – but did you know that Stafford County is a smart community? A smart city or community integrates new technologies to enhance the quality of life for its citizens, businesses, and visitors. Many destinations across the globe understand the vast power of these programs, and like them, Stafford is creating a smart place for innovation.

In 2021, Stafford opened the nation’s first IoT-based living laboratory, called the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. The Testbed has put Stafford on the map along with our founding partners at OST, Inc. and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. Together we are leading the smart community movement in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a result, the Testbed plays an important role in the economic development future for Stafford.

But how? 

The Virginia Smart Community Testbed provides smart community solutions in three key areas:

  1. Find innovative ways to enhance quality of life for citizens;
  2. As a place for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and existing businesses to thrive;
  3. A program to develop projects where innovators and companies can test and deploy cutting-edge products or solutions in Stafford or elsewhere in Virginia

Since its opening, the Testbed has received global attention for its innovative approach and for working alongside international businesses. From Canada to the Netherlands, businesses are coming to Stafford to test their ideas which is impacting the community immeasurably. The Testbed is continuing to develop partnerships and gain attention with outreach through panels and conferences around the globe. This fall, Stafford County will be attending multiple conferences and sit on panels to discuss new technologies coming out of the Testbed that are going to be relevant for generations to come.

The Testbed was also recently recognized as a ‘Smart 50 Awards’ recipient. This award presented by Smart Cities Connect recognizes global smart city projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work.

For details on getting involved in a Testbed initiative, project, or program, visit VATestbed.com.