Chicago set as urban innovation test bed


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Chicago will become the launch site of a new program called CityWorks, created by UI Labs and several corporate partners, aimed at developing and testing innovative urban infrastructure solutions.

CityWorks will involve six to eight demonstration projects over the coming year that could “help transform cites across the globe,” according to a UI Labs release.

“The massive scale and complexity of cities and their infrastructure have often limited our ability to create the transformative improvements urban centers need,” said Caralynn Nowinski, executive director of UI Labs.

“The goal is to use Chicago as a ‘test bed’ of urban innovation, drive breakthroughs, and create proven technology solutions that can be commercialized, scaled quickly and replicated in other cities.”

The initiative will bring together organizations and companies to experiment on large-scale urban issues, including energy management, physical infrastructure, water and sanitation systems, and transportation and logistics systems.

The main corporate partners joining UI Labs include Siemens AG, Accenture, Commonwealth Edison and Microsoft Corp.

The program will be privately funded and based at UI Labs on Goose Island in Chicago.  It has the support of, and will be overseen by, Chicago and state officials, according to a CityWorks statement.

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