Sunshine Coast vies for Global Intelligent Community award
  • Wednesday 12 June 2019

The Sunshine Coast is one step away from being named the world’s most intelligent community, with the winner of the prestigious award to be announced in New York  on June 14 (AEST time).

Mayor Mark Jamieson will travel to New York where he and other local business and community representatives will represent the Sunshine Coast at the Global Intelligent Communities Forum and awards ceremony.

“The Sunshine Coast is the only city in the southern hemisphere named in the Top7 finalists for this award, which itself is a tremendous honour and fantastic recognition for our community,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This is a great opportunity on a global stage, to demonstrate what our Sunshine Coast has to offer as a best practice leader in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion, sustainability and advocacy.

“Our Sunshine Coast is already benefiting from being recognised in the Top7 – which we were awarded in February – due to the efforts of our business and community leaders and council in presenting a compelling agenda for the region and a passionate commitment to innovation and creativity.

“The work we are doing is setting the Sunshine Coast up with a strong platform for a really formidable future.”

“Participating in the Global Intelligent Communities Forum and awards program provides additional exposure for our region to international talent and investment opportunities, as well as affording access to a global network of other progressive cities and communities from whom we can learn and share best practice on measures and ideas that have enduring benefit for our community.

“I am looking forward to sharing with the rest of the world, the progress we are making in investing in renewable energy, through initiatives like our solar farm, and how we are establishing direct connectivity with global markets with our international broadband submarine cable,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Co-founder of the ICF, John Jung was impressed by what he saw when he visited the Sunshine Coast in April as part of the judging process for the 2019 Intelligent Community of the Year.

“There are so many things that you are doing here – you are innovating, you have great spirit, but at the end of the day it is how you are embracing the use of technology in a very positive way,” Mr Jung said in April.

“What this community is doing is setting a great standard for other communities, not only in Australia but around the world, to look at how a great quality of life evolves.”

Joining Mayor Jamieson on the business mission are Innovation Centre Chief Executive Officer, Mark Paddenburg, and HeliMods Head of Strategic Engagement, Sandra Arico.

Both Ms Arico and Mr Paddenburg are joining the Mayor in a panel discussion at the Summit to pitch the Sunshine Coast’s credentials as a global intelligent community.

Ms Arico said that as a long-standing Sunshine Coast business and proud ambassador for the region, HeliMods is honoured to be part of this mission and to represent the Sunshine Coast community on the global stage.

“It’s fantastic to be part of a region that is progressive and committed to investing in the future, as well as passionate about making the Sunshine Coast the best place in the world to have a great career, an amazing lifestyle and a true sense of community belonging,” she said.

“Recognition in the ICF Top7 Awards sends a strong signal to the business community and top talent around the world that the Sunshine Coast is full of opportunity and is committed to growth and prosperity through innovation and to sustainability for future generations.”

The Mayor will also meet with the Investment Director, New York, Trade and Investment Queensland and the Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York to exchange ideas and initiatives and promote the opportunities available on the Sunshine Coast.

The Summit provides opportunities to engage directly with leading global entrepreneurs and connect with companies, investors and other cities and discuss the opportunities they are examining for the future.

Mayor Jamieson departed on Sunday, 9 June 2019 and will return Sunday, 16 June. Deputy Mayor Councillor Tim Dwyer will be Acting Mayor while Mayor Jamieson is representing the Sunshine Coast at the Global Intelligent Communities Forum.

Fast facts

• The Sunshine Coast has been named a Smart21 Intelligent Community five times in the past six years.

• At the inaugural Australian Smart Cities Awards in 2018, Council won the Leadership City award for its Smart City Implementation Program; won the Regional Leadership award for the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm; and was highly commended in the Digital City Services category for its Smart Region Management Platform, which provides real-time water, lighting, parking and environmental data.

• This is the first time the Sunshine Coast has been named in the Top7 Global Intelligent Communities.

• The Sunshine Coast is the only Australian city and the only location in the Southern Hemisphere in the Top7.

• Cities and communities around the world are invited to enter the ICF awards. Each submission must provide quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate the delivery of initiatives aligned to six intelligent community indicators including; broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital equality, sustainability and advocacy.

• The Top7 Intelligent Communities represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century. Each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world.

• Facilitated by Sunshine Coast Council, ICF co-founder John Jung met with 17 separate organisations during his three-day visit to the Sunshine Coast in April, including leaders from education, industry, community, environment, health and government.

• In alphabetical order, the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2019 are:

o Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
o Chicago, Illinois, USA
o Hudson, Ohio, USA
o Sarnia-Lambton County, Ontario, Canada
o Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
o Taoyuan, Taiwan
o Westerville, Ohio, USA

For more information on the Summit go to