Media release

Communitech and partners working to prepare our communities for the Future of Cities

Collaborative aims to future-proof Canadian cities and equip neighbourhoods for digital innovation

KITCHENER, ONT., February 25, 2021 — Communitech and a group of partners have joined forces to ensure Canadian cities are prepared to reap the benefits of future digital advancements. This new collaborative group, working under the banner of the Future of Cities, began informal conversations in November 2020 on what communities, corporations, educators and governments can do to build community practices that will help future-proof our cities.

COVID-19 has shone a light on the opportunities and challenges urban environments face during major crises. This collaborative convenes key stakeholders from government, industry and academia to learn, share and innovate towards a rapidly evolving urban landscape in Canada and around the world. The group will work on strategies to prepare Canadian communities for the future – a future already being shaped by demographic shifts, artificial intelligence, automation and other technologies. 

“Convening the right people and collaborating has always been part of the Communitech story, and it continues to be the best way to get things done. We’ve recognized that the challenges facing cities cannot be tackled by any one entity acting alone,” said Joel Semeniuk, Vice President of Corporate Innovation at Communitech. “We are stronger together than apart, so have formed this collaborative to research and test solutions that will help our communities prepare for whatever the future holds.”

After completing initial discoveries and brainstorming sessions, the Future of Cities collaborative decided to focus on how advanced technologies, such as 5G, can be used to increase responsiveness and adaptability of the movement of both people and goods while also improving safety and reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, research streams within the collaborative will include work on transportation and digital identity. 

In addition to Communitech, the collaborative includes organizations in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor such as:

  • Rogers Communications

  • PwC Canada

  • University of Waterloo

  • City of Brampton

  • City of Waterloo 

“5G networks will be a critical building block in advancing digital technologies to support Canada’s future growth and innovation. Essential to that is ensuring our communities have access to the digital infrastructure and technology solutions they need to thrive,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer at Rogers Communications. “The Future of Cities collaborative is bringing together the right partners to build made-in-Canada solutions and infrastructure to future-proof our cities for the digital age.”

Over the next six months, this collaborative will produce research papers that serve to inspire a sense of urgency among leaders to better prepare cities across Canada for the future. The collaborative will also host a series of virtual events to stimulate conversation on the future of cities and launch pilot projects in Waterloo Region.

“This collaborative is an opportunity for like minded organizations to come together and help build a better tomorrow in Canada. The discussions will address the needs of society and focus on the development of technology and infrastructure,” said Christopher Dulny, Chief Innovation Officer at PwC Canada. “The solutions discussed in these sessions are intended to inspire action in Waterloo and we are grateful to be a part of it.”

“Brampton is a City of Opportunities, and together with our partners at the Future of Cities, we are committed to making our communities smarter, more resilient, liveable and efficient,” said Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton. “With a focus on collaboration and innovation, we will build a better future for cities across Canada.”

For more on Communitech’s Future of Cities collaborative, please visit https://www.communitech.ca/future-facing/collaboratives/future-of-cities.html.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres
Manager, Public Relations, Communitech
(519) 888-9944 Ext. 1027
candace.beres@communitech.ca

About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was just a wild idea, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,600 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.

Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.

  • Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.