White House Announces $160MM “Smart Cities” Initiative

The Obama administration, in conjunction with the Smart Cities Council Annual Meeting, on Sept. 14, announced $160mm in federal research, grants and collaborations to help local communities manage major challenges using 21st century tools.

As part of the initiative, the Administration is announcing:

  • More than $35 million in new grants and over $10 million in proposed investments to build a research infrastructure for Smart Cities by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Nearly $70 million in new spending and over $45 million in proposed investments to unlock new solutions in safety, energy, climate preparedness, transportation, health and more, by the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • More than 20 cities participating in major new multi-city collaborations that will help city leaders effectively collaborate with universities and industry.

Focus on key strategies:

  • Creating test beds for “Internet of Things” applications and developing new multi-sector collaborative models.
  • Collaborating with the civic tech movement and forging intercity collaborations.
  • Leveraging existing Federal activity.
  • Pursuing international collaboration.

Related “Smart Cities” initiatives also include:

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.

The U.S. Census Bureau (Census) is announcing new steps to expand the open-source CitySDK toolbox project, making valuable data available to communities and civic innovators

The Science and Technology Priorities Memo, issued by the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy, includes a focus on cyber-physical systems and Smart Cities.

The 2015 and new FY16  NIST Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), which supports “high-risk, high-reward” research on the effective integration of networked computing systems and physical systems to meet community challenges.

New Smart and Connected Health research awards with a focus on Smart and Connected Communities will have $2MM.

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 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.

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.

The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is planning a new $10 million round of its Regional Innovation Strategies funding.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing new steps to unlock Smart Cities approaches to environmental monitoring and analysis through programs like its Village Green Project.

More than 20 city-university collaborations are launching the MetroLab Network, with more than 60 Smart City projects in the next year.

Envision America, a new nationwide nonprofit, is issuing a challenge to America’s cities to become smarter by accelerating deployment of innovative technologies that tackle energy, water, waste, and air challenges.

The announcement contains more initiatives, more details and additional new steps by private and community leaders to further the opportunities for municipal governments and local communities to take full advantage of potential opportunities to become “smart”.

Contact: bthornton@assetstewardship.com
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