Michigan and Cisco Announce Digital Acceleration Partnership (Todd Newcombe /Gov’t News: Headlines)

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The state of Michigan wants to become the most secure and digitally
advanced state in the nation. Now, it has one of the country’s leading
tech firms to help make that happen.

On Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the state was teaming up with Cisco
to launch the State Digital Acceleration (SDA) program aimed at
energizing the economy through innovation in mobility, the digital
economy, training and education, and citizen-centric government.

“It’s our mission to reach out to the citizens and deliver improved
services to them,” said David DeVries, Michigan CIO and director of the
Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “This will provide a
framework for better government and connected services. It’s also a
chance to partner with Cisco as they evolve their digital acceleration
program.” The three-year collaboration program is modeled after Cisco’s
Country Digital Acceleration program, which involves 16 countries and is
designed to help them grow gross domestic product (GDP), streamline
government services, attract new investment and increase innovation
capabilities. That program has been operating for three years and was
started as a framework to help countries cope with technology’s rapid
pace of change, according to Alison Gleeson, a Cisco senior vice
president. “In order for companies, cities, states and countries to keep
up, it’s important they have a framework to test boundaries, be organized
and not be left behind,” she said. Michigan got the nod to become the
first government in the U.S. to participate, thanks to its leadership and
innovation. “Michigan is a global leader in connected roadways and it’s
number one in the nation for smart mobility patents. The state also has
the greatest concentration of engineering talent in the world,” said
Gleeson. The partnership will focus on five initiatives, also known as
“pillars”: Mobility for connected roadways. Michigan ranks first in the
nation when it comes to connected and automated vehicle projects. To
build on that level of innovation, Cisco and Michigan’s Department of
Transportation will pilot a connected roadways effort focusing on
motorist as well as worker safety. The technology captures real-time data
about traffic flows, environmental conditions, road conditions and more,
to enable the automation of critical safety decisions like reducing speed
limits on variable message signs.
  Digital innovation in manufacturing. The state leads the nation in the
development of factory automation technology, and manufacturing accounts
for one out of every six private sector jobs. Cisco will collaborate with
manufacturers and research institutions throughout the state, including
Wayne State University, to help develop its
25,000-square-foot Smart/Digital Manufacturing Center in Detroit, focused
largely on manufacturing automation and robotics.
  Workforce training and education. Michigan has the highest per-capita
density of engineering jobs of any state, and yet, vacancies remain due
to the shortage of workers. Cisco plans to plug this gap through its
Networking Academy, the company’s IT skills and career building program,
now in its 20th year. The company aims to more than double enrollment in
the Networking Academy from 3,000 students today to 8,000 students by
  Citizen-centric government. Michigan, which has a centrally managed IT
organization, is positioned to provide a fully citizen-centric government
with strong cybersecurity. According to Cisco, this part of the
partnership will focus on improving how services are delivered to
citizens and state agencies by collaborating “around a converged network
platform for innovation in the future in services, security,
collaboration, cloud and more.”
  Strong communities. Michigan is the only state in the country to see
its population decline between 2000 and 2015. Working with Cisco to
prioritize solutions that will make the state a safe and attractive place
to live, Gov. Snyder plans to bring Michigan’s population above the 10
million mark by 2020. …