SOMERS — University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chanellor Debbie Ford will be in Finland Wednesday to take part in an international innovation conference.

Ford, along with University of Wisconsin System Interim Vice President of Corporate Relations David Brukardt, will present a case study “Smart Cities, Smart Futures — Building a Roadmap to a Future Where There Are No Roads” as part of a smart-specialization case study at the University Industry Innovation Network University-Industry Interaction Conference in Helsinki.

The conference, now in its seventh year, brings together more than 500 representatives from entrepreneurial universities to explore collaborative innovation and university-industry interaction.

“Our state and our region are positioned to move forward with smart technology,” Ford said. “Collaboration between UW-Parkside, UW System, local and state government, and leading technology companies such as Foxconn present an opportunity unlike any we’ve witnessed before. I’m excited to share just a glimpse of what is on the horizon in our area.”

Conference evaluators accepted the “Smart Cities, Smart Futures” case study as part of its global “Good Practice” series highlighting newly emerging trends in higher education partnerships. The conference is being held in collaboration with the Finnish Ministry of Education.

The presentation by Ford and Brukardt (which takes place at 7:20 a.m. in Kenosha, 3:20 p.m. in Finland) includes a review of last year’s Smart Cities, Smart Futures summit at the university; the Foxconn-sponsored Smart Cities, Smart Futures statewide competition; and new Smart Cities curriculum developed and offered by UW-Parkside.

“The conference gives UW-Parkside and UW System the opportunity to share our amazing innovation and collaboration with the world,” Ford said. “Besides sharing our success, it will be interesting to learn what others are doing and how those ideas can be put into action here.”

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