The Howard County Economic Development Authority is collaborating with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, in Laurel, to plan and implement a smart and connected community concept within Howard County’s Gateway District.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in April includes provisions for autonomous systems, clean and sustainable energy, population health and cybersecurity concepts that support the advancement of the county objectives and APL’s research goals.

APL and HCEDA plan to use the Columbia Gateway Innovation District as a proving ground for their smart city concepts. In its updated HoCo by Design – the document that guides land use, growth and development decisions – Howard County has positioned the more than 900-acre business park as a future mixed-use activity center that will incorporate sustainable development and smart-community practices.