The Garden State is smart, but like every other state, not smart enough.

But we might get a leg up this fall.

New Jersey is one of five states gearing up to participate in a three-day "learning lab" in October, designed to help governments better understand how smart technology can improve any number of services for their constituents.

New Jersey — along with Colorado, Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia — was chosen by the National Governors Association for its Smarter States, Smarter Communities initiative.

Sue Gander, director of NGA's energy, environment and transportation division, said New Jersey was selected  for having a "good team" and "good ideas," and appearing to have a solid view on how it would utilize the initiative.

"States have gone far already — New Jersey has certainly been part of that — but there are many more opportunities to take advantage of going forward," Gander said.

The association is also working with the chosen states before and after the lab, scheduled for October 17-19 in Chicago, to help them leverage this opportunity, Gander said.

When announcing New Jersey's participation in the initiative, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state aims to meet or surpass goals in: increasing the efficiency and intelligence of New Jersey's infrastructure, modernizing New Jersey's electric grid; and increasing the quality and reach of digital services.

“New Jersey is uniquely positioned to capitalize on its heritage of innovation, serve in a peer capacity, and assume a leadership role in the community of smarter states,” Murphy said in a news release. “This initiative is an excellent launching pad in our commitment to reclaim New Jersey’s Innovation Economy by fostering new, smart technologies, powerful data, and digital innovation to improve the lives of our residents. We look forward to working with other states to realize the future that smart technologies promise.”

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