To advance data-driven smart cities initiatives, the University of Miami Institute for Data Science and Computing (IDSC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF).
”This new partnership will open new doors for our students, faculty, and industry partners to share smart city ideas and to develop innovative technology strategies that can benefit communities around the world.”
”IDSC is excited to expand UM’s smart cities research program by collaborating with this dynamic global organization,” says Nicholas Tsinoremas. ”This new partnership will open new doors for our students, faculty, and industry partners to share smart city ideas and to develop innovative technology strategies that can benefit communities around the world.”
One of IDSC’s priorities is supporting the development of a sustainable smart city ecosystem through cross-disciplinary, industrial, and governmental collaborations.”We bring together talented minds in multiple disciplines and leverage our state-of-the-art technology, including an AI-ready supercomputer and 5G+ edge computing environment, for basic and applied research,” adds Tsinoremas.
WBAF is an international organization that aims to ease access to finance for startup businesses and is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, startups, and small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).
”Smart cities are defined as urban centers that not only leverage technology to improve their own operations, but also to connect with citizens, businesses, and nonprofits in novel ways. In order to be successful, all key stakeholders of the global urban development ecosystem need to be open to novel funding sources, novel business models, and novel implementation strategies, and they must use design thinking for planning the smart cities of the future. I believe, by working together with IDSC across borders, with a common vision, and with these smart dynamics in mind, we are well placed to bring about positive change in Miami’s economy,” says Baybars Altuntas, Executive Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum.
After creating a national office in Washington, DC, last year, WBAF USA recently established a Miami office with a grand-opening ceremony set for May 25, according to Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD, MBA, a WBAF USA Director, and Member of the IDSC Industry Advisory Board.
”Miami has embarked on a quest to become the capital of capital.”
”As City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez has stated, ‘Miami has embarked on a quest to become the capital of capital’ and this newly established office aims to play a vital role in supporting these efforts,” says Vasiliu-Feltes. ”Through promoting science-driven innovation, transformation, and entrepreneurship we can improve economic recovery and growth by acting as a catalyst and gateway to new business opportunities.”
An affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, WBAF engages a wide range of institutions—public and private, local and international, commercial and academic— to help drive its mission.
”We are eager to collaborate with key stakeholders to start the implementation process of our action plan,” adds Vasiliu-Feltes. That includes organizing summits, forums, and roundtable events that aim to foster an entrepreneurial environment.
Other aspects of WBAF’s plans include:
• Organizing Angel Investing Championships where carefully selected start-ups, scale-ups, and high-growth businesses could be connected with angel investors
• Developing a regional entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem in Miami to connect all players of the early and post-early stage equity Miami market with world capital markets
• Establishing a smart cities economic development commission in Miami for entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, academics, thinkers, and active citizens from the same industry or a sector with a similar background
• Designing and launching an incubation or accelerator program where entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs could be accepted
For more information on WBAF, visit wbaforum.org.
Story by Richard Westlund