IndyStar: Indy is national leader in innovation

Source: IndyStar | Chelsea Collier

Indianapolis, known as the “Amateur Sports Capital of the World”, is home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and has hosted world championships in swimming, rowing, and basketball. Its sports facilities are anything but amateur and have become the envy of the nation.

Now the city is looking to add another trophy to its case for being a winner in another serious competition:  The race to be the “Most Innovative City in America.”  This is a lofty aspiration. 

Salesforce has established Downtown Indianapolis as one of its largest operations hubs.  The city is home to a major Internet 2 Node and was chosen for 5G wireless network technology trials.  Tech companies have given Indianapolis recognition for the tremendous growth of the city’s tech sector.  The honor is well deserved but city leaders aren’t resting on the accolades.

The city has turned its legendary “team approach” toward the development of 16-Tech, an urban multi-use research and development center that will be anchored by the $360-million Indiana Bioscience Research Institute (IBRI).  IBRI will tackle the most intractable bioscience challenges with private sector investment, university talent, and the real-world experience of partners like Eskanazi Hospital, and Eli Lilly and Company.


Under the leadership of Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis is poised to become one of the nation’s premier smart cities.  Imagine this vibrant Midwestern hub where everything from streetlights to street maintenance is made more efficient and inclusive by technology, sensors, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things (IoT).  With enlightened public policy inspired by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indianapolis and Indiana are working together to take it to the #NextLevel.

True to its Midwestern roots, Indianapolis’s city leadership should continue to work hard to reach a better, more connected and digitally inclusive future. Key to all of this innovation and technology will be the connectivity that powers it. Next generation wireless networks – powered by small cells – and robust fiber deployment are essential to continue this progress.

At the state level, Indiana’s leaders have done their part in passing legislation to ease the deployment of small cells, but city leaders must work with state leadership as well as the private sector to build out the technology and networks and truly reap the benefits. When all parties come together, the city ensures only the best for Indianapolis residents and visitors. When they do, Indianapolis will join other top smart cities in the big leagues.

Chelsea Collier

Founder, Digi.City

Austin, Texas

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