Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

A Smarter Track for Columbus and Ohio by 2020

By Cynthia S. Artin

In America’s heartland, over 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and job creation groups have pooled resources to develop opportunities designed around the digital economic future. Columbus 2020 is one of the most driven and active regional efforts in the US and their impact is being felt, as the Columbus Region is now experiencing the strongest decade of growth in its history.

This week, Columbus 2020 announced the Netherlands-based technology company, Smartrac, a global provider of RFID products and IoT solutions, plans to significantly expand into the Region, bringing thirty new technology related jobs to the region over the next three years.

Hiring for program and portfolio management, research and innovation, and solutions development positions has already begun, without a specific location for their offices yet determined.

The 2020 project spans 11 Central Ohio counties, and is one more piece of evidence that the “Smart City” movement may be turning into a “Smart Region” movement, as we’re witnessing in Arizona, including an educational platform sponsored by Arizona State University.

Smartrac is a growth company in and of itself, with a comprehensive regional presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. With this investment, the technology leader is now concentrating its U.S. East Coast expansion in the Columbus Region.

In the Columbus region, they will be building on the success of their hardware and software IoT solutions for product digitization, authentication, sensing, tracking and consumer engagement, with integration to enterprise systems such as ERP and CRM.

“The Columbus Region offers a vibrant tech community, a startup ecosystem and access to excellent academic and research institutions such as Battelle, The Ohio State University and the Columbus College of Art and Design. These characteristics provide the capabilities we’re looking for and create a talent pipeline that can fulfill our needs,” said Dinesh Dhamija, chief technology officer at Smartrac. “We looked for a place with a strong startup culture, and the Columbus Region was a standout choice as the emerging smart city leader and home of innovative software entrepreneurs.”

Smartrac will primarily augment its software, solutions innovation and technology portfolio management functions in the Columbus Region, with support for other company operations.

“Alongside its tech ecosystem and talent, the Columbus Region is home to a wide range of end user companies that are developing and applying IoT solutions to bolster their global logistics and manufacturing operations. Tech providers like Smartrac can find partners and customers here in automotive, fashion, food and beverage, medical devices, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, among other industries,” said Jung Kim, managing director of research and business intelligence at Columbus 2020.

The Columbus Region has become an IoT and smart city leader thanks to the D.O.T. Smart City Grant (which Columbus won in 2016), its dynamic IT ecosystem, as well as the growth of local tech jobs thanks to the attraction of IoT companies like Smartrac. Columbus was ranked No. 1 on SmartAsset’s list of “The Best American Cities to Work in Tech in 2017.”

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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