- Nokia announced a joint program with investment firm Smart City Capital, LLC to help Canadian cities fund smart city initiatives and reduce the risks associated with them.
- More than $2 billion CAD (about $1.5 billion USD) is available in funding for the program, which is designed to complement the Canadian government’s recently-launched Smart Cities Challenge.
- Nokia and Smart City Capital have created what they call a "best-in-class partner ecosystem" that includes suppliers of technology solutions, communications infrastructure and architecture to support the investment opportunity.
The infusion of money shows Nokia’s continued commitment to investing in smart city technology, having previously announced new solutions including an Internet of Things (IoT) operations center, blockchain-based data analytics (dubbed "Sensing as a Service") and a secure mobile virtual network operator (S-MVNO) for public safety agencies. In a statement, Smart City Capital CEO Oscar Bode hailed Nokia’s "growing expertise in smart city deployments and project management."
The partnerships with suppliers to provide various smart city technologies are also significant, as they can help drive down costs and build relationships between cities and businesses. It is also significant that the joint program is putting up a notable amount of money, as a lack of funding can often kill innovations before they get off the ground.
Canada has huge smart city potential, with Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto appearing to be hitting its stride, while that city was the only Canadian representative to make the shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2. Perhaps if innovations from the Smart Cities Challenge and this associated program are successful in Canada, they can be translated to the United States.