San José Receives $200k to Explore the Use of Responsible Smart Technology

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The Knight Foundation also awarded Akron, Boston, Detroit, Miami and Philadelphia similar funding

San José, Calif. –  The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded the City of San José $200,000 in funding to explore how to develop and implement smart technology in cities in responsible and equitable ways. The support was part of a $1.2 million commitment from Knight Foundation announced on Friday April 21st to help six cities, including San José, explore IoT (Internet of Things) application in their cities.  

The City of San José will use this funding to support IoT strategic planning to inform decisions around where to make IoT investments, IoT infrastructure financing, smart technology assets regulation, and how to create private sector partnerships that facilitate the preservation of public assets and data privacy for our residents.   

“As part of our Smart City Vision, San José is committed to seeking opportunities to apply new technologies, like Internet of Things, that will help us improve city services and increase the quality of life for our residents,” said Sam Liccardo, mayor of San José. “I want to thank Knight Foundation and the Netgain partnership for their commitment to helping local municipalities use technology in ways that produce significant public benefit.” 

“As cities increasingly use the Internet of Things to reduce costs, increase sustainability and improve services, we need to be acutely aware of its impact — both good and bad,” said John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for technology innovation. “This support aims to help create a model and guidelines for the thoughtful and responsible use of IoT, linking its development to the public’s benefit.” 

This award is part of Knight Foundation’s participation in NetGain, a partnership with five leading foundations – Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, and Open Society Foundations – to explore public interest technology issues. San José was the only California city to receive a grant.  

Insights gathered from IoT and smart technology can help reduce traffic congestion, improve emergency response times, conserve water and make life more streamlined for both the City and our residents. This research will help the City evaluate the IoT landscape and develop a strategic path forward.

“Cities around the country are assessing how to effectively and responsibly deploy complex IoT technology while protecting privacy,” said Shireen Santosham, Mayor Liccardo’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We are glad to have the opportunity to be a trailblazer in this space to inform IoT efforts in cities across the country.”  

For more information on the City of San José’s Smart City Vision please visit