The Arizona Technology Council presents the fourth annual Smart City + IoT Conference, where attendees will discover how technology can be harnessed for more sustainable cities and learn about the advances in the development and implementation of a wide range of technological innovations.

About the Smart City + IoT Conference:

As the trajectory toward urbanization increases, the Smart City + IoT Conference provides an excellent platform for highlighting Arizona’s success, facilitating collaboration and advancing new strategies. The event convenes the brightest minds in technology, business and government to explore the landscape of smart-city strategies, discuss emerging best practices and challenges to implementation, and examine the specific strategies needed to bring a smart-city vision to reality. 

“A growing focus on sustainability, renewable energy and environmental impact has placed greater emphasis on how companies, communities and cities operate,” said Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “The quest for carbon zero will define the way business is done in the next decade. At the forefront of emerging technologies and innovation, Arizona is leading the way in supporting the transformative cities of the future.” 

Keynotes, expert panelists and exhibitors at the conference will shed light on the principles and patterns seen in smart-city strategies across the globe and share how technology can enhance the quality of life for citizens. 

When: Thursday, September 17, 2020, from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Where: Virtual event hosted on Tocca 

Speakers and Panelists:

Featured speakers include Zylstra and Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. Opening keynote Andrew Christian, vice president of Business Development and Defense of the Nikola Motor Company, will share insight on the strategic partnerships and innovative technology the electric-vehicle pioneer is deploying to globally revolutionize the vehicle transportation industry.

In the first panel presentation, “IoT: From Device to the Cloud and Back,” a distinguished panel of IoT experts will provide insight as to how artificial intelligence, mobile apps, electric vehicles, 5G and cloud computing are driving explosive growth in the IoT ecosystem. Featured IoT panelists include:

• Kirk Busch, CEO, BigData Southwest

• Chris Lee Ross, IoT engineer, Intel Corporation

• Kim Ruggiero, managing partner, Verizon

• Phill Lawson-Shanks, chief innovation officer, Aligned Data Centers

In the second panel discussion, “The Desert Goes Green,” a group of key stakeholders will cover the global movement toward a zero-emissions future and how Arizona is positioned to lead the way. Featured panelists include:

• Dominic Papa, VP of Smart State Initiatives, Arizona Commerce Authority

• David Hayes, chief investment officer, British Petroleum

• Brian Sherman, chief innovation officer, Arizona Commerce Authority

• Eric Massey, director of Policy and Reporting, APS 

Who should attend:

The Arizona Technology Council Smart City + IoT Conference is a must-attend event for city leaders, economic development professionals, business leaders, technologists, developers, manufacturers, thought leaders and others interested in advancing ideas about innovation and infrastructure with a focus on technology for social good and sustainability. Register to attend:

Renewable Energy: The Linchpin of Smart-City Success

Arizona’s innovation ecosystem is making electric and autonomous vehicles, testing zero-emission semitrucks, building the solar grid, installing energy-efficient devices, flying electric airplanes, and making global advancements in water technology, just to mention a few examples of the clean-energy space. Although the pandemic altered the economic landscape both nationally and here in Arizona, renewable energy is a powerful solution to restoring Arizona’s economic security while moving in tandem toward a cleaner, more prosperous and healthy future. 

Committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state, the Council outlines the importance of renewable energy with these key benefits:

Business attraction: States with robust, clean-energy standards attract companies seeking to make long-term investments consistent with their sustainability and financial goals.

Economic development + job creation: Arizona’s clean-energy policies have delivered significant benefits to the state as reliable sources of local investments and have a proven track record of creating jobs and shovel-ready projects for local businesses. A first-of-its-kind report recently commissioned by Ceres found that from 2008 to 2018, Renewable Energy Standard Tariff (REST) gross benefits to Arizona utility customers and the public totaled nearly $2 billion.

Sustainability: The accelerating nature of digital technology has propelled cities to constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of everyday life. Renewable energy is the answer to moving toward a cleaner, more prosperous and healthy future. 

Cost savings: Clean energy helps businesses save money, hedge against volatile fuel prices and stay competitive. In fact, a 2017 analysis shows clean energy saved U.S. companies nearly $3.7 billion a year, freeing up significant capital that can be reinvested into businesses, students, employees and local communities. Additionally, energy-saving efforts implemented by the state’s three largest utilities from 2008 to 2016 have created nearly $3 billion in net economic benefits, saving families and businesses money on their energy bills. 

Cleaner air: Renewable Energy initiatives also have the significant added benefit of reducing harmful air pollutants and associated health costs. 

Healthier citizens: Improving air quality is not only the right thing to do for public health and for Arizona communities, it also makes economic sense. Fewer instances of respiratory illness, missed days of work and hospitalizations will increase personal disposable income and help reduce the financial pressure on state-funded, health care programs.