Saint John has become the third New Brunswick city to be named to the Smart21, a club of cities and towns from around the world dedicated to the "broadband economy", the New York-based Intelligent Community Forum said Friday.
Fredericton received the honour several times, most recently in 2009, and Moncton made the list in 2009 and 2010.
"What we did is finally throw our hat in the ring," said Jeff Roach, the former executive director of Propel ICT and the brains behind the new thethinkcity.ca website. He said the other New Brunswick cities had applied repeatedly in the past but this was Saint John’s first application. He added he believed the city could end up on the list of the final seven cities for 2012.
In naming Saint John to its 2012 list, the Forum noted that the city has moved effectively to replace its dwindling manufacturing base with services and an emphasis on IT. “A group of local entrepreneurs and angel investors formed Propel ICT, a technology incubator with a difference,” said the statement. “Propel ICT focused on mentorship instead of office space, pairing entrepreneurs with senior business executives. In its first 3 years, Propel ICT nurtured 21 start-ups, of which Radian6 became its most successful and best known.”
The other Canadian centres on the 2012 list are Quebec City and Stratford, Ont.