GAINESVILLE, Fla. – City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and the University of Florida are pleased to join MetroLab Network, a network of 37 regional city-university partnerships focused on bringing data, analytics, and innovation to local government. Members of the network research, develop, and deploy technologies and policy approaches to address challenges facing cities and communities across the country. MetroLab Network was launched by 21 founding city-university pairings in September 2015 as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative.
According to Mayor Lauren Poe, “Being recognized as a member of this national network is a testament to the strength of our partnership with UF. As we strive to realize our mutual goal of becoming a New American City, we will create a living laboratory to test innovation and apply research for the betterment of the Gainesville community.”
MetroLab Network’s city-university partnerships are relationships in which the university serves as a research and development arm, and the city serves as a test-bed for technologies and data-driven approaches. Faculty members and students gain access to real-world laboratories to develop and test tools and programs that utilize information technology, data analytics, sensing, and more. Cities benefit from their technical expertise, leading to solutions that reduce the cost of infrastructure and services, with cities becoming more sustainable and citizens’ quality of life improved.
“Creating partnerships between the University of Florida and the City of Gainesville is key to UF’s future success and a central theme to the university’s Strategic Development Plan,” said UF Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Lane. “I’m pleased to be working with MetroLab to help make UF’s already strong partnership with Gainesville that much better.”
MetroLab Network connects these city-university partnerships via a national, collaborative platform that facilitates the sharing of information and the scaling of technology and solutions across the country.
By becoming members of MetroLab Network, the City of Gainesville and the University of Florida have signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to undertake at least three research, development, and deployment projects. Gainesville and UF’s projects include: an autonomous shuttle program routed between the University of Florida and downtown Gainesville, a Community Resource Paramedic program that utilizes patient-centered outreach to better connect individuals to the local healthcare system, and a smart street lighting project which will equip street lights both on and off campus with sensor technology.
“We are very excited to partner with the City of Gainesville and work jointly on projects as part of the MetroLab Network. This collaboration will allow us to further our existing collaborative efforts with the city and contribute to addressing transportation – related challenges for the City”, said Dr. Lily Elefteriadou, Director of the University of Florida Transportation Institute.
MetroLab Network is supported by a funding from the Annie E. Casey, Kresge, and MacArthur Foundations. For more information on the MetroLab Network, visit www.metrolabnetwork.org or contact Ben Levine at (412) 377-0193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct media inquiries to Chip Skinner, public information officer at (352) 393-7842 or email@example.com.