NIST, Partners Launch Global City Teams Challenge

The goal is to help communities around the world cooperate to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and several partners are launching a year-long Global City Teams Challenge, which aims to help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination. NIST is inviting communities and innovators to create teams to foster the spread of "smart cities" that take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve residents' quality of life.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the challenge during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum in Washington, D.C. Commerce's International Trade Administration will support the challenge by assisting U.S. companies that want to export their products or services overseas for the first time or expand their international client base, and by connecting participants with government officials around the world.

Such an effort has worked before: This challenge follows the SmartAmerica Challenge, which from December 2013 through June 2014 brought together more than 100 companies, universities, and organizations in teams that developed and applied networked technologies, according to the department's announcement.

"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," said Chris Greer, director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office. "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."

The challenge will kick off Sept. 29-30 with a workshop at NIST's Gaithersburg, Md., campus. You can register for the workshop at

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