Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn to help city of Racine become a ‘smart city’

Milwaukee Business Journal: Foxconn to help city of Racine become a ‘smart city’

Foxconn Technology Group has entered into an agreement with the fifth-largest city in Wisconsin to help the municipality pursue and implement ‘smart city’ technologies there.

Cory Mason, mayor for the city of Racine, announced the partnership Tuesday.

“Partnering with Foxconn gives the city a unique competitive advantage,” Mason said in a statement provided by the city. “All over the world there is a smart city movement happening, and both the city and Foxconn want to operate in that space.”

Technology and systems that will improve public safety, transportation, utilities and high-speed internet are among the concepts that will be developed through the partnership.

Foxconn last month acquired its second office building in downtown Racine that would create a co-working space for its smart city efforts. That building will become known as Foxconn Place Racine and will house at least 125 company employees. Foxconn in late December bought a smaller office building at 601 Lake Ave., which will be a hub for smart city projects.

“This initiative speaks to the core of what Foxconn is all about, and this partnership will cement a lasting legacy for the next generation of innovators in the city of Racine and beyond,” said Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou, in a statement provided by the city. “I am excited to see projects get off the ground and start to take shape. I have no doubt that we will soon see some exciting stories of creativity, discovery, and success that will positively shape the future of Racine and Wisconsin as a whole.”

Foxconn plans to break ground by this summer on its LCD screen fabrication plant in Mount Pleasant, which is a village in Racine County. Local officials expect the plant will house 1,500 jobs and exceed 1 million square feet of building space.

Foxconn is putting up $1 million over the next three years to support a statewide smart city competition in Wisconsin, which is designed to bring to the forefront ideas from students and faculty in Wisconsin that could improve health care, transportation, production and other elements of the state’s economy.