Former GE CTO to lead Schenectady smart city push
January 13, 2016
Former General Electric chief technology officer Mark Little is to lead a team that aims to transform Schenectady in New York into a smart city. The announcement was made this week by Mayor Gary McCarthy.
The Schenectady Smart City Advisory Commission will develop new technology initiatives and 21st century infrastructure for Schenectady, and will work on various technology and sustainability initiatives with a focus on the next generation of wireless communications and product development.
“The future of government infrastructure is more than pipes and pavement; it is building a cohesive wireless network and utilising sustainable technology to lower the burden on residents through more efficient services while also improving their quality of life,” said McCarthy. “This team of experienced and impressive individuals will aid in promoting growth and development in all areas of Schenectady and help the city continue to be a leader in solving urban problems.”
Schenectady continues to build on its history of technological progress. Recent successes include the use of data driven policies to lower crime and partnering with the University at Albany’s centre for technology in government to streamline and enhance code enforcement. The commission’s eight members, each with prominent track records in innovation, will advise the city on future initiatives and partnerships.
Little is a trained mechanical engineer, with a bachelor’s degree from Tufts, master’s degree from Northeastern, and PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Little served as GE’s chief technology officer and senior vice president and director of GE Global Research. Currently, Little and his wife Terri operate the Little Family Foundation, which supports a wide variety of local community activities as well as international and veterans organisations.
"I am very excited to be working with an excellent group of individuals from the community who have come together to take on the challenges we face to make Schenectady an even better city to live in,” said Little. “I am looking forward to applying emerging technology in ways that will create tremendous benefits for the residents of Schenectady.”
The commission will also include: Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors Theatre; Theresa Pardo, director of the centre for technology in government at the University at Albany; John DeAugustine, publisher of the Daily Gazette; Laurence Spring, superintendent of the Schenectady City School District; Kishor Bagul, CEO of Cloud & Things; Antonio Civitella, CEO of Transfinder; and Tom Wilson, founder of TW&A Construction Management.
"It is exciting to be part of the smart cities effort,” said Civitella, who is also New York BizLab founder and president. “I’m expecting great things to come out of this initiative that will help Schenectady continue to lead the way in tech innovation."
The broad concept of smart cities involves creating sustainability, efficiency and improved quality of life by using technology and innovation. By establishing an advisory commission and collaborating with various public and private sector entities, Schenectady has created an environment in which it hopes innovation, creativity and practicality can form together to save money, improve the quality of life and make real progress.