City News & Updates

Posted on: March 30, 2017

Hudson's Digital Initiative Helping to Create an Economy for the Future


     Hudson’s digital innovations to advance economic prosperity and provide better government services is being recognized locally and globally. Recently, Hudson was invited to become a member of the Global Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community, a think tank that is in partnership with the internationally acclaimed Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) for businesses, universities and governments to expand the world’s knowledge about the creation of Intelligent Communities.

     The City’s push to bring a Gigabit-speed fiber network to Hudson in 2015 is what prompted an invitation to join this global think tank to exchange ideas and expertise that drive progress.

     “The creation of the Velocity Broadband fiber network for business retention and attraction put us on the map,” said Paul Leedham, Hudson’s Chief Innovation Officer. “But it has morphed into so much more.  With the help of ICF, we’re changing the community’s culture that will position Hudson for the future.”

     What is an intelligent community?  It is a community that understands the enormous challenges of the Broadband Economy and has taken conscious steps to create an economy capable of prospering in this new economy. An “intelligent community” exhibits six key indicators: broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital technology, sustainability, and advocacy.

     According to ICF, intelligent communities adopt technology to find vision-driven, community-based, technology smart solutions to their most urgent problems. They make sure they have the broadband and IT infrastructure they need to be competitive.

     The City is working on all six of the indicators, with its Velocity Broadband service as the catalyst for change aimed at creating a vibrant 21st Century economy in Hudson.

     “We are connected to our past, but we’re building for the future,” said Jim Stifler, Chief Economic Officer. “We’re changing the paradigm as we establish Hudson as a thriving digital oasis in Northeast Ohio, equipped to attract new technology companies and help them grow.”

     Hudson is building an innovation environment where business, government and institutional partners create high-quality jobs for the digital age. The City is exploring innovative partnerships with the colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio, and will be meeting with the State of Ohio’s Chief Innovation Officer, to discuss Hudson as a technology leader in the State.

     Recently, Hudson partnered with Western Reserve Academy to host ICF’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity, bringing together representatives from communities across Northeast Ohio to discuss how to tackle challenges, create prosperity and enrich the quality of life in their communities.

     “We’re in the very beginning stages of this process, but we’re already seeing the benefits and the potential for Hudson,” said Leedham. “Companies are approaching us because of our digital initiatives.”

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