The modern city is evolving, as data drives a wave of collaboration between local government, universities, and the tech sector.
Elyria, OH – A new initiative to help residents join and profit from the data economy is being announced by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Elyria.
The city has signed a memorandum of understanding with the data technology company Dataswift and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), to “work together to collectively shape, structure, plan for and launch the digital transformation of Elyria.”
The parties intend to collaborate on joint projects, seek funding, and engage with other entities.
The collaboration could help bring about new digital infrastructure for the residents of the city, helping them to access and benefit from the technology sector and bring Elyria into the digital era, according to Mayor Frank Whitfield.
By leveraging technology infrastructure provided by Dataswift and academic research from CWRU, the city will pursue new applications, digital services projects, and areas of business.
As part of the understanding, the parties will seek to build digital skills, technology infrastructure, and services with Elyrians’ own personal data. Elyrians will have the ability to use, share, and control their personal data using private personal data accounts. With full ownership of their data, citizens will be able to leverage their private information to earn wealth and revenue in the data economy without sacrificing privacy.
Mayor Frank Whitfield said that this project is about helping his community continue their evolution into the digital era. “We have an opportunity to take action on modernizing our city, and leapfrogging the technology of today,” he said. “Today’s economy is a digital one and our residents need the skills and tools to take advantage of it. This partnership will take the best global resources for advancing the digital economy, and put them to work for the people of Elyria.”
“Americans need to work towards what I call a ‘post-pandemic city,’ where we can all thrive in our life, our work, and our homes,” said Youngjin Yoo, a CWRU professor focused on digital transformation and technology research. “Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to launch a new digital era, a Data Economy 2.0 where the primary beneficiaries of digital services and the opportunities of the Internet are the people who use it and the companies that build it.”
Professor Irene Ng, a Director at the University of Warwick and CEO of Dataswift, has described Elyria as a microcosm for an embattled America ready for change. She said that “so much of the pandemic world we live in is a legacy of old, centralized systems. Mayor Frank’s vision of transformation will lead us into the future, where our data can enable us to achieve more instead of restricting us.”
Under the new project, Elyria’s citizens will legally own their own data and identity, using it to create and access apps and services made by and for their local businesses. For more information, please visit www.cityofelyria.org/digital.
Dataswift creates essential tools to give, take and use data responsibly. Their Personal Data Accounts are a new technology that enable individuals to collect, store, process, and use their own personal data in the cloud.