ASU and Amazon Web Services Opening Solution Center

The Smart City Cloud Innovation Center will soon be open in Scottsdale. The center was birthed from a partnership between Arizona State University and Amazon Web Services.

“It’s storefront property at our Skysong campus where municipalities, faculty, staff, students can actually come forward with their challenges, and then there’s a group of ASU and Amazon employees that will be there to help them solve these solutions around smart cities,” said the ASU deputy chief information officer, John Rome.

“These challenges might be anything from parking issues to how do we come up with a standard of smart lighting within the city, and how do I do better water conservation? So there’s a lot of ideas that you can bring forward to this center, and the idea is that we solve these solutions and make them available to the greater public.”

The center will help solutions be shared between cities. For example, if a problem is solved in Peoria, another city could see and implement the solution.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will be used to solve problems. The center is already working on one problem: how to stop wrong-way drivers.

“Part of ASU’s mission is clearly how do we impact the community around us, and we have a deep partnership with Amazon. They realized that ASU is the most innovative university, or institution, in the U.S. Why not take the most innovative company in the world and get together and solve things?” Rome said.

The center will be fully operational this summer, and you can submit challenges on its website.

“If you’re a faculty, citizen, student, that has an idea or wants to try to solve something, it’s a place where you can actually submit those challenges. And then there’s a committee that will look at those, look for impact, and then we’ll try to address those,” he said.


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