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Ballarat Named in World's Top 21 Smart Cities

Ballarat has been named as one of 21 finalists in the internationally acclaimed Intelligent Community 2013 awards.  The University of Ballarat’s Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC) has provided crucial support and leadership for a recent application nominating Ballarat as a ‘Smart Community 2013’.  Applications are assessed by the Intelligent Community Forum, based in the United States.

Ballarat will now prepare a more detailed application in advance of the rigorous judging process to determine the ultimate winner.  Over coming months the 21 nominees will be reduced to seven finalists vying to take the top award of ‘Intelligent Community of the Year’. The winner will be announced in June 2013.

CeCC’s director and National Broadband Champion Dr Helen Thompson has been instrumental in driving Ballarat’s application. The nomination has also been supported by prominent Ballarat businesses and committees, including City of Ballarat, Ballarat ICT and Telstra Country Wide.

“A ranking in the Smart 21 Intelligent Communities of the Year builds on our formidable reputation for ICT innovation.  CeCC will work with private and government stakeholders to position us for the next stage of judging. A nomination in the Top 7 Intelligent Communities would assist Ballarat gain reputation as an international destination for investment in technology and ICT related education and training” advised Dr Thompson. 

The theme of the 2013 Smart Community awards is ‘Innovation and Employment’. To address this, the Ballarat application included past history and current initiatives responding to five key performance indicators- broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion, and marketing and advocacy.  The application outlined the significant investment in Information Communication and Technology infrastructure in Ballarat since the planning and commissioning of the University of Ballarat Technology Park at Mt Helen.

“The impact of strong partnerships between government, community and business, and the legacy of incisive social planning and educational provision featured heavily in our submission.  CeCC’s Digital Enterprise manager Gerrie Carr-MacFie outlined a compelling story in constructing Ballarat’s application. The investment of University of Ballarat, State and Australian governments in development of the Ballarat Technology Park, and the strategic work of local government and the University in stimulating economic development, has positioned Ballarat as a strong contender. We will work collaboratively on the next phase of the award competition” said Thompson.

End of Release

Contact:           Dr Helen Thompson

Email:              h.thompson@ballarat.edu.au

Phone: +61 3 5327 9418

Photo Opportunity: YES                      

Interview: Yes

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