AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

ASU and AWS Open Smart City Cloud Innovation Center

Arizona State University (ASU) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have officially opened the ASU Smart City Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) Powered by AWS, an initiative that focuses on building smarter communities in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area using the AWS Cloud to solve pressing community and regional challenges.

Located at ASU’s SkySong location in Scottsdale, the new center is part of a long-term collaboration between ASU and AWS to improve digital experiences for smart-city designers, expand technology alternatives while minimizing costs, spur economic and workforce development, and facilitate sharing public sector solutions within the region.

The importance of the CIC to the community – thoughts from the team

  • Jim Lane, Scottsdale Mayor: “This particular project is absolutely the epitome of what we’ve wanted to see happen here — a collaborative effort with technology and innovation bringing about greater efficiency and quality of life for all of us within our community and beyond,” said Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. “This is one of those great partnerships where we really do see us come together for the benefit of not only those in this room and community and state, but beyond.”
  • Ben Butler, Global Lead, AWS Cloud Innovation Centers, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS: “Real-world challenges from various parts of the public sector and from within the university will be submitted to the CIC. We’ll combine public-sector knowledge of the community and its challenges with the expertise of ASU’s faculty, staff and students, and use AWS technologies to solve those challenges. And we’ll do it using open-source software — we’ll share the solutions and prototypes we create with other communities facing the same challenges.”
  • Ann Merrihew, Director, U.S. Education, AWS: “The CIC will focus on how to use technology to advance the quality of life and resilience of the community. Although focused in Scottsdale, it’s a global challenge. We live in a city, we live in a county, we are part of a global universe, and what we learn we’re going to share.”

Working with ASU, a dedicated staff of three AWS resources will provide management, process, and technical guidance to address world-changing innovation challenges by using Amazon’s proven “working backwards” process. The first Innovation Challenge is scheduled to get off the ground in early May.