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Alexa, Make Cleveland A Smart Device Research Center

Amazon Echo Dot
Andres Urena
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Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University have received $1.75 million from the Cleveland Foundation to fund a joint effort coined the “Internet of Things Collaborative.”

The Internet of Things refers to devices that collect data and transmit the information to other pieces of technology through the web.

The Cleveland Foundation’s chief information officer, Leon Wilson, says the grant is part of their Digital Excellence Initiative, which aims to gradually transform the region into a hub for tech innovation.

"We want Greater Cleveland, Northeast Ohio to be economically competitive in this digital economy and be a thought leader in this," Wilson says. "And this is just one way. It will not be the sole way, but this is just one way that we can support and add resources to try and help get us there."

Wilson says that while the universities’ research will focus on the optimization of industrial processes using smart devices, the impacts could be far-reaching.

Examples of the "Internet of Things" in action could include sensors on top of street lights to measure pollution levels or devices that help identify deteriorating infrastructure.