Reston, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Smart City Works, a business accelerator focused on civil infrastructure and the built environment, signed a memorandum of understanding June 23 to collaborate on ways to bring innovative technologies and civil engineering projects to market.

The alliance, which seeks to reduce the lifecycle costs of infrastructure, develop the next generation of engineers and move innovation into practice, aligns closely with ASCE’s Grand Challenge strategic initiative, which aims to significantly enhance the performance and value of infrastructure projects over their life cycles and foster the optimization of infrastructure investments.  It also complements ASCE’s Game Changers initiative, which showcases innovative trends in transportation, water, freight and energy that are changing the way infrastructure is designed and built.

In the U.S. alone, $3.6 trillion dollars in infrastructure investments is needed by 2020 to keep pace with current and expanding needs, according to ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.  The potential for innovation in the urban and built environment is largely untapped and offers much promise for infrastructure that is built smarter, faster and more cost effectively. 

“ASCE is committed to advancing sustainable infrastructure and reducing lifecycle infrastructure costs by 50 percent by 2025, and we are keenly aware that accomplishing this Grand Challenge will require the profession’s unified commitment to innovation,” said Thomas W. Smith III, P.E., executive director of ASCE.  “ASCE looks forward to working with Smart City Works to advance innovative ideas and technologies into practice for the benefit of our profession and humanity.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ASCE will provide technical and advisory support to Smart City Works including referral of winners of the ASCE Innovation Contest and experts to review and evaluate project proposals.

“ASCE is the preeminent organization representing civil infrastructure, so for us this is an important partnership,” said Gregory Sauter, P.E., co-founder of Smart City Works.  “Our mission is to identify and speed commercialization, create a new vehicle for innovation, and provide a forum for thought leadership to improve the world’s infrastructure and have a meaningful impact on the grand challenges.

“We also need to challenge ourselves to do it better and design, build and operate safer, more efficient and resilient cities. These are all issues that ASCE is committed to and they are issues that we’re passionate about addressing through the accelerator.”

SMART CITY WORKS is the world’s first business “actuator” and a premier business accelerator for improving livability and resilience in cities. Smart City Works’ unique focus on the built environment aims to dramatically change the way society designs, builds, and operates civil infrastructure.  Smart City Works operates twice-yearly sessions that are designed to propel graduating companies into the marketplace, endowed with proven products, and equipped with the skills to grow and compete for funding and market share.

For more information about Smart City Works, visit