The US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has initiated a year-long global city teams challenge to encourage communities to address challenges such as air quality, traffic management, and emergency services coordination by fostering smart cities that implement technologies that will both better manage resources and improve quality of life. The challenge is open to participants around the world.
The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) will support the challenge by connecting US participants that want to market their products internationally with government officials around the world.
The challenge is a sequel to the successful SmartAmerica Challenge that saw the development and application of networked technologies. NIST reports, “Smart cities rely on effective networking of computer systems and physical devices. These Internet of things (IoT) and cyber-physical systems (CPS) currently account for more than $32 trillion in global economic activity, a number that is projected to grow as they bring improvements to health care, advanced manufacturing and a host of other industries.”
Chris Greer, NIST’s director of smart grid and cyber-physical systems program office, says, “Many established cities have similar goals of improving air quality or delivering better health care—and emerging regions want to be smart from the start. But those projects often address only one city or region at a time. The Global City Teams Challenge will help communities around the world work together on shared challenges. They will identify standards and measurements to guide technology innovators in creating solutions that can work anywhere and lay the groundwork for a future of smarter cities.”
For the challenge NIST’s partners include the National Science Foundation; the US Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services, Intel, IBM, and Juniper Networks among others.
Greer adds: “The Global City Teams Challenge will be a good opportunity for public chief technology officers and private industry innovators to come together. Participating will help cities and innovators use IoT and CPS concepts in ways that improve quality of life in urban centers and also bring improvements to agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and more.”