$160 million to be spent creating smart cities

$160 million to be spent creating smart cities
The US Administration is announcing a new "Smart Cities" Initiative that will invest over $160 million in federal research and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services. The new initiative is part of this Administration's overall commitment to target federal resources to meet local needs and support community-led solutions.
An emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists, and companies are joining forces to build "Smart Cities" - communities that are building an infrastructure to continuously improve the collection, aggregation, and use of data to improve the life of their residents - by harnessing the growing data revolution, low-cost sensors, and research collaborations, and doing so securely to protect safety and privacy.
The Administration's Smart Cities Initiative will begin with a focus on key strategies:
  • Creating test beds for "Internet of Things" applications and developing new multi-sector collaborative models: Technological advancements and the diminishing cost of IT infrastructure have created the potential for an "Internet of Things," a ubiquitous network of connected devices, smart sensors, and big data analytics. The United States has the opportunity to be a global leader in this field, and cities represent strong potential test beds for development and deployment of Internet of Things applications. Successfully deploying these and other new approaches often depends on new regional collaborations among a diverse array of public and private actors, including industry, academia, and various public entities.
  • Collaborating with the civic tech movement and forging intercity collaborations: There is a growing community of individuals, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits interested in harnessing IT to tackle local problems and work directly with city governments. These efforts can help cities leverage their data to develop new capabilities. Collaborations across communities are likewise indispensable for replicating what works in new places.
  • Leveraging existing Federal activity: From research on sensor networks and cybersecurity to investments in broadband infrastructure and intelligent transportation systems, the Federal government has an existing portfolio of activities that can provide a strong foundation for a Smart Cities effort.
  • Pursuing international collaboration: Fifty-four percent of the world's population live in urban areas. Continued population growth and urbanization will add 2.5 billion people to the world's urban population by 2050. The associated climate and resource challenges demand innovative approaches. Products and services associated with this market present a significant export opportunity for the U.S., since almost 90 percent of this increase will occur in Africa and Asia.
Complementing this effort, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is examining how a variety of technologies can enhance the future of cities and the quality of life for urban residents. The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program is also announcing the release of a new framework to help coordinate Federal agency investments and outside collaborations that will guide foundational research and accelerate the transition into scalable and replicable Smart City approaches. Finally, the Administration's growing work in this area is reflected in the Science and Technology Priorities Memo, issued by the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy in preparation for the President's 2017 budget proposal, which includes a focus on cyber-physical systems and Smart Cities.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing over $35 million in Smart Cities-related grants and planning new investments in FY16. With a new foundation-wide effort devoted to Smart and Connected Communities, NSF will bring academic researchers and community stakeholders together to unlock transformational progress on important challenges — including health and wellness, energy efficiency, building automation, transportation, and public safety — through research to integrate new digital tools and engineering solutions into the physical world. NSF announcements in support of this agenda include:
  • $11.5 million in new awards to develop and scale next-generation Internet application prototypes that leverage gigabit speeds to achieve transformative impact in areas ranging from health care to public safety. These investments include new awards to US Ignite, Inc., and the Mozilla Foundation to create "Living Labs," or communities of practice that facilitate the participation of citizens and community organizations, as well as idea and application sharing, across cities and regions. US Ignite is a public-private collaboration spanning over 40 cities and communities across the Nation. The Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting openness, innovation, and participation on the Internet.
  • $10 million in new Cyber-Physical Systems Program research awards focused on Smart and Connected Communities. These awards support research in the integration of computing, networking, and physical systems, such as in self-driving cars and smart buildings. The research awards being announced today help to establish the foundation for Smart Cities and the "Internet of Things." One such award, to Kansas State University, will fund research on novel approaches to integrate distributed power sources, such as rooftop solar panels and storage batteries, with the existing electric power grid.
  • $7.5 million in proposed FY16 spending for urban science that will support research that integrates advanced digital tools with the physical world to improve quality of life, health and wellbeing, and learning in communities.
  • $4 million to support academic-industry collaborations to translate innovative research and emerging technologies into smart service systems, such as smart energy services and on-demand transportation.
  • $3 million for the University of Chicago to support the creation of the Array of Things in Chicago, the first such network to serve as an infrastructure for researchers to rapidly deploy sensors, embedded systems, computing, and communications systems at scale in an urban environment. Comprised of 500 nodes deployed throughout the city of Chicago, each with power, Internet, and a base set of sensing and embedded information systems capabilities, the Array of Things will continuously measure the physical environment of urban areas at the city block scale and unlock promising new research trajectories.
  • $2.5 million for researchers to participate in the 2015 NIST Global City Teams Challenge, which supports "high-risk, high-reward" research on the effective integration of networked computing systems and physical systems to meet community challenges.
  • $2.5 million in new research awards to support improvements in the design and operation of interdependent critical infrastructure, such as electrical power and transportation systems, ensuring they are resilient to disruptions and failures from any cause.
  • $2 million in new Smart and Connected Health research awards with a focus on Smart and Connected Communities. The awards being announced today will support the development of next-generation health care solutions that leverage sensor technology, information and machine learning technology, decision support systems, modeling of behavioral and cognitive processes, and more.
  • A new Dear Colleague Letter encouraging Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research proposals, as well as supplemental proposals to existing grants, to grow a Smart and Connected Communities research community and pilot early-stage efforts.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plans to invest $5 million in Smart Cities in FY16 and is launching a new round of the Global City Teams Challenge. Proposed FY16 investments will foster collaborations with communities and industry to demonstrate the capabilities of Internet of Things technologies to benefit local communities, while developing related performance standards and measurement tools. In addition, NIST is launching the next round of its Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), using a new approach that will challenge teams of cities to set Smart City goals and then work with innovators to develop, deploy, and evaluate standards-based Smart City technologies that measurably improve residents' quality of life. The private sector is stepping up as well, including:
  • IBM is announcing it will organize GCTC 2016 kick off events in an additional 30 cities in Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. It will also provide technology experts to mentor and educate the worldwide participants in agile Internet of Things applications, design, and development throughout the GCTC 2016 challenge.
  • AT&T is announcing that it will support Internet of Things and Smart Cities technology adoption by supporting testbeds in cities in the U.S. and globally. AT&T will select 10 U.S. cities to deploy technology for smart metering, lighting, traffic management, parking, and public safety. The company will host a Smart Cities hackathon with NIST participation at the AT&T Developer Summit in January 2016 with participating cities.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is announcing plans to invest $50 million over five years to develop cutting-edge emergency response technologies for Smart Cities. Through the Next Generation First Responder Apex Program, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate is developing and integrating innovative technologies to ensure first responders are protected, connected, and fully aware - helping to better prepare them for threats and disasters of all sizes. As part of this effort, DHS is also collaborating with NIST to leverage Smart Cities data, analytics, and predictive modeling to give responders the right information at the right time, increasing responder operational efficiency and safety.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing over $40 million in new funding to advance transportation for Smart Cities, building on a broad base of existing research and outreach to spur the development of next-generation transportation systems, including:
  • DOT is announcing awards of up to $42 million in its first wave of Connected Vehicle Pilots, including $20 million for the installation of this technology in midtown Manhattan, and $17 million to address congestion in downtown Tampa.
  • A new funding opportunity of approximately $4 million focused on how mobile telecommunications and travel data integration can make traveling easier and more efficient, as well as how incentives can help promote safer travel. Past research has explored the potential for automated vehicles, dynamic ridesharing, and integration of sensor data to assist navigation for blind and vision impaired pedestrians. This new opportunity from the Federal Highway Administration Exploratory Advanced Research Program will build on these results in further areas related to smart cities.
  • Gathering input on integrating vehicle data, technologies, and applications with other systems across a city. On November 4, 2015, the Connected Cities Research Program will hold a public workshop in Washington, DC, to solicit stakeholder input on the connected cities research program structure and its focus areas.
  • Advancing outreach and collaboration on connected and automated vehicles. On November 4-5, 2015, the University Transportation Centers (UTC) research program will host a conference on the impact of connected and automated vehicles on transportation - to include, planning, policy, land use, design as well as smart cities areas of interest: operations, freight movements, and transit.
The Department of Energy (DOE) will invest almost $10 million to expand efforts to support the emergence of smart, energy-efficient and low-emission cities that are leveraging Smart Cities technologies. These new steps include:
  • Creating a new SMART Mobility consortium, with $5 million in new research funding. DOE will launch a Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility consortium to examine the nexus of energy and mobility for future transportation systems. Initial research will focus on connected and automated vehicles, urban science, decision science, multi-modal transport, and integrated vehicle-fueling infrastructure systems.
  • Over $3 million in proposed funding to advance smart building technologies that optimize operational performance, maximize energy savings, and participate in smart communications within buildings, from building to building, and from buildings to the grid. Through the High Impact Technology Catalyst, DOE is proposing to spend more than $3 million over the next three years to accelerate the uptake of nascent market-ready technologies and solutions that support self-configuring, self-commissioning and self-learning buildings. The Department will also lead a new collaborative effort with multiple private sector groups to leverage the work of the existing Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator to promote better access to building energy data in new cities across the country.
  • A Smart Grid Integration Challenge for Cities, offering at least $1 million in funding. DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will launch a new challenge competition in 2016 to support city efforts to implement sensing, data sharing, and data analytics to achieve city goals for reducing energy consumption. The competition will be open to city governments that have already developed a roadmap or an action plan with clearly defined targets for energy consumption reduction for the entire city.
The Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is planning a new $10 million round of its Regional Innovation Strategies funding opportunity, with a new focus on catalyzing regionally-grown solutions to communities' most pressing problems. As part of the 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which helps build regional capacity to support entrepreneurs and growing young companies, EDA will conduct directed outreach to programs that support early-stage companies that use technologies to solve communities' most pressing problems, such as companies in the Smart Cities sector, which can have a significant positive impact on a community's or region's economic growth and resiliency. As part of the 2017 RIS Program, EDA plans, where appropriations allow, to include the i6 Impact Challenge and the Conscious Seed Fund Support (C-SFS) Grants program, which will support high-growth companies that solve these pressing problems to help make cities and communities smarter and more economically resilient.
Source: The White House
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