The Discovery Park District's Digital Trust Initiative at Purdue

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Monday, April 4, 2022

Digital Beat

The Discovery Park District’s Digital Trust Initiative at Purdue

More than Smart, a Community-Driven Technology Adoption and Use Model

About one-third of smart city projects fail and around 80 percent of prototypes don’t scale and reach their desired scope.(1) Poorly implemented smart city investments undercut civic trust and can have far-reaching economic and social consequences. US Ignite’s Fostering Civic Trust guide purports an ecosystem of trust that places people at the core of the smart city movement by focusing on five policy domains: (i) Data Governance; (ii) Cybersecurity; (iii) Privacy; (iv)  Community Engagement; and (v) Equity. 

The connected community in the Discovery Park District (DPD) is partnering with US Ignite and XQ Message to develop governance models and policies to govern its digital environment to foster digital trust. The effort will build on the trust framework introduced in US Ignite’s Fostering Civic Trust Guide by adding the sixth policy domain—sustainability—to understand how DPD can meet its economic, social, and environmental needs now and into the future.


Source: Modified based on US Ignite’s Civic Trust Guide

The policy framework will:

  1. provide oversight for the deployment of smart technology across the district to improve the resident’s quality of life,
  2. offer guidelines for ethical data collection and use for commercial and research purposes,
  3. empower the citizens of the community to have more agency and control over their digital identity, and
  4. serve as an example for communities worldwide attempting to balance smart technology innovation with the values of the communities in which that technology exists.

Individuals and companies located in the district will participate in the development and management framework to ensure secure, ethical, transparent data use that will support technology adoption and scalability beyond DPD.

The deliberate creation of a management and policy framework focussing on the six domains can help smart cities successfully balance smart technology deployment and trustworthy innovation. Innovation Partners Institute (IPI) will publish its lessons learned and experiences from the real-life implementation and management of its data policy and governance framework to help other smart communities build their governance and policy structures.

Since this initiative will uncover an abundance of facts, insights, and analysis, the Innovation Partners Institute will launch a blog series titled "DigitalTrust@DPD" to share findings as they emerge throughout the process. These articles will be available at

More information on the Digital Trust Initiative is available online.


  1. Charles Schmidt and Meghan Manley, "Trust in Smart City Systems Characteristics and Key Considerations." Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security. January 2020


Media inquiries: Lizette Arias,

Sources: Troy Hege,; Jigyasa Sharma,; and Kelby Price,

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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
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Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
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