Updated: May 5
MIC leverages nearly half a million dollars in external funding to support local innovation
Smarter beaches, modernized information technology and a new-and-improved digital mapping solution using artificial intelligence and machine learning top the list of projects undertaken by the Municipal Innovation Council (MIC) in 2022.
Through these projects, the MIC has leveraged nearly $500,000 in external funding over the last year to support these local innovation initiatives.
The Nuclear Innovation Institute’s Director for the Centre for Municipal Innovation Becky Smith recently shared an update with eight local councils on the projects currently underway at the MIC.
“Our work at the Municipal Innovation Council is centred on identifying opportunities for collaboration, finding solutions that create efficiencies and cost savings and improving service delivery for our residents, local businesses, investors as well as visitors and newcomers to our communities,” said Smith.
A recently completed review on Joint IT Business opportunities across all eight MIC member municipalities identified several opportunities to work together to improve digital maturity, identify cost savings and modernize digital services for residents over the next five years.
Smith also highlighted the MIC’s Mapping our Future project that will deliver a digital mapping solution using the existing 2020 South Western Ontario Orthoimagery Project (SWOOP) data, artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art machine learning.
The data will be shared with Bruce County municipalities as well as local conservation authorities and Saugeen Ojibway Nation (via the Environment Office). Leveraging this innovative technology will save years of manual in-house geographic information system (GIS) work.
Mayor Luke Charbonneau was enthusiastic about the MIC’s Mapping our Future project and stated at Saugeen Shores Council: “The mapping project is critical and will directly benefit property owners across the municipalities in Bruce County.”
In collaboration with expert researchers from the University of Windsor, the MIC is leading a Smart Beach Project—the first of its kind in North America—that will pilot at Station Beach in Kincardine in 2022.
The project is a new beach safety program that uses innovative technology to identify water safety risks and educate beachgoers on safe and sustainable beach behaviour.
Kincardine Mayor Gerry Glover was thrilled to see the Smart Beach project come to the municipality this summer.
He said at Kincardine Council: “We are certainly appreciative to have been included in the Smart Beach project and we’re looking forward to advancing the project at Station Beach this summer.”
Facilitating best practices around emerging challenges in the workplace is also a priority for the MIC over the next year through training and workshop opportunities. Just recently, the MIC partnered with the Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership to offer workshops focused on building more welcoming communities. More than 150 municipal staff from across Grey and Bruce counties participated in the workshops.
“Our region is becoming more and more diverse—and municipal services impact every resident and visitor,” noted Smith. “These professional development opportunities give municipal employees the chance to broaden their knowledge and discuss how we can build more welcoming and inclusive communities within our rural region.”
Additional training opportunities for municipal staff and elected officials will take place in 2022 that will focus on mental health in the workplace and sharing knowledge on local Indigenous history to help advance efforts around reconciliation.
Learn more about the municipal innovation work happening in Bruce County by visiting the Nuclear Innovation Institute’s website at: nii.ca/municipal-innovation and join the conversation on Twitter (@OntarioNII), on LinkedIn (Nuclear Innovation Institute) and on Facebook (@OntarioNII).