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Smart Stafford

A Smart Place for Innovation #SmartStafford
Stafford has a rich foundation in cyber technology firms and intends to build upon that strength by integrating smart-city technology solutions and opportunities throughout the County. A “Smart Stafford” will be a community that offers access to and fosters the development of new technologies that create new jobs and improve the lives of our residents, businesses, and visitors. A Smart Stafford will also foster and encourage youth and adult training programs in tech-based occupations.

A key asset in this initiative is the new Virginia Smart Community Testbed, providing a location for testing technology and foster entrepreneurship. The Testbed will unlock critical new resources and foster business investments across all of Stafford and the Commonwealth.

What might this look like?
Imagine “smart kiosks” scattered around Stafford that will direct citizens and visitors to activities and businesses.

Imagine systems that alert drivers to real-time information on road conditions.

Imagine new expanded, perhaps even autonomous, transit options to move people to and from work and home.

Imagine new training programs and jobs in technology that provide new opportunities for our citizens.

Imagine more.

Smart Stafford is more than the Testbed.

Smart Stafford is about fostering innovation and creativity across the County. It is about inspiring our children to dream big and have the tools to do so.

It includes investing in the deployment of technology and broadband countywide.

It includes development of new programs designed to foster entrepreneurship.

It includes all of Stafford.

Virginia Smart Community Testbed

Stafford is the proud home of the Virginia Smart Community Testbed, developing smart technology for the Commonwealth.

We turned an old convenient store into Stafford’s very own “smart” building where entrepreneurs can test their devices, products, and services for the nation.

The Testbed is the first in the nation built around an IoT platform and fully integrating 5G and other new and emerging technologies for Smart Cities. The Testbed will accelerate smart technology growth in the Commonwealth. It also provides a living laboratory for new innovations and foster business investments in the Downtown Stafford area.

The Virginia Smart Community Testbed is a public-private partnership involving industry partners who focus on relevant and practical use cases to produce innovative solutions using emerging and smart technologies. The Testbed provides an approachable place in the region to educate and introduce Smart technology and Smart capabilities used for the development of the public.

Projects in the Testbed will help deploy new technological infrastructure that collects, aggregates, and analyzes real-time data to improve the lives of its residents, businesses and visitors.

For more details about the Use Cases and Pilot Projects completed, underway, or contemplated in the Testbed, visit www.VirginiaSmartCommunityTestbed.com.

Tech-Based Entrepreneurship

Stafford will be home to the new Virginia RIoT Accelerator Program (VA-RAP). RIoT is an internationally recognized non-profit the helps communities build robust entrepreneurial ecosystems. RIoT will launch VA-RAP in the Virginia Smart Community Testbed in fall of 2021. For more information on their programs, visit www.riot.org.

What does this mean for Stafford?

The VA-RAP will provide hands-on opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their business. Start-ups and existing business in Stafford and beyond will be encouraged and challenged to consider how their business can grow through inclusive and comprehensive workshops and programs.

Recognizing that entrepreneurship is not just for startups, the VA-RAP and RIoT encourage and plan to host other events and workshops in Stafford to engage existing businesses seeking to employ or test new technologies in their business.

RIoT will launch its business “accelerator program” for Virginia from the Testbed in Stafford. VA-RAP will engage up to 12 entrepreneurial businesses that seek to expand and grow their business.

For more information on Stafford’s Technology-Entrepreneurship programs, visit www.StaffordEntrepreneurship.com

Smart Stafford Includes Expansion of Broadband

The expansion of broadband and direct fiber across the County is an important piece to the success of an integrated and interconnected “smart” community. Stafford County and the Stafford EDA have provided funds for initial expansion of wireless broadband in areas not serviced before. The County and EDA are committed to building upon that success and strives to foster the development of broadband countywide.