McMaster awarded Cisco Fast Future Innovation Award for Smart Campus Initiative

February 10, 2022 | Hamilton, ON
Contributed by Tanya Reid, University Technology Services (UTS)
Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards 2021 Winners

McMaster is one of three recipients selected for the 2021 Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards.

McMaster University is one of three recipients selected for the 2021 Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards and has been awarded $200K CAD in funding from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration program.

With over 65 Canadian organizations submitting nominations, McMaster successfully presented a compelling path to a more digitized and innovative future. McMaster’s submission focuses on creating a sustainable and equitable future through digital spaces and ‘smart campus’ initiatives. “McMaster University Smart Campus”, is an institutional effort that is working to create smart classrooms and buildings throughout campus by automating and synchronizing individual building systems. These systems include and are not limited to HVAC, security access, and AV control through class scheduling systems. This initiative will support end-to-end building and system automation linked through an application that coordinates building technologies for an optimal classroom experience.

“McMaster University’s focus on creating innovative and delightful interactions for our students, faculty and staff within our teaching and learning environments will greatly benefit from the Cisco Fast Futures Innovation Award. Our Digital Spaces and Smart Campus activities support the institution’s strategic goal of operational excellence and we look forward to collaborating with Cisco to integrate campus systems with the goal of delivering a seamless experience,” says Gayleen Gray, Assistant Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

McMaster’s Smart Campus approach is a truly collaborative effort involving teams from across the institution including Facility Services, University Technology Services (UTS), Library Services, Campus Security, Campus Classroom Technologies, Office of the Registrar, and DeGroote School of Business (DSB).

Under the Smart Campus umbrella, active digital spaces initiatives include: a smart building occupancy pilotCisco DNA Spaces utilization, active classrooms, wireless enhancements and more.

“By optimizing the heating, cooling, lighting, audio visual and access systems in classrooms we are also conserving energy and improving the experience and comfort of everyone in the classroom. Another one of the goals of this concept will be to collect real-time metrics to improve classroom optimization over time,” says Debbie Martin, Chief Facilities Officer and Assistant Vice-President. “Congratulations to the teams awarded for their continued, collaborative work in creating a smarter, more sustainable campus.”

“This innovation grant is an excellent example of our community coming together to create a meaningful impact on learning spaces for students and faculty,” says Khaled Hassanein, Dean, DeGroote School of Business. “Connected classrooms, enhanced security and safety, and energy savings are just a few of the advantages. Long term, this initiative will set a high bar for smart building technology at McMaster and provides us with many opportunities as we plan and build for the future.”

About the Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards program

With the launch of the Fast Future Innovation Awards program last fall, Cisco presented Canadian organizations with the opportunity to seek assistance with business challenges they currently face as it pertains to reaching a greater digitized future, faster. Learn more here.

This article originally appeared in McMaster Daily News. View the article here. 

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