Washington, D.C. — Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network, will award five challenge grants to help five American cities apply smart technologies to improve urban livability, workability and sustainability. The grant is in support of the White House’s call to action to accelerate the development of smart cities, which was announced on Sept. 26. This is the second year that the White House issued a major announcement to kick off Smart Cities Week – North America’s premier smart cities conference, convening over 1,500 participants from all levels of government and the private sector on Sept. 28-29 in Washington, D.C.
Last September, the Administration launched the White House Smart Cities Initiative, announcing an initial investment of over $160 million in research funds devoted to growing the pipeline of proven new technologies available to help cities solve pressing challenges. The initiative includes a range of partnerships with cities and universities collaborating to launch more than 60 new smart city projects across the country.
“The smart city sector has already reached more than $1 trillion in annual sales worldwide,” said Jesse Berst, Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. “But it’s not just a trend… it’s a race. In our global economy, every city is competing for jobs and talent. A smart city strategy is essential to support a 21st century workforce and to drive economic development. We welcome the chance to help the winning cities gain a competitive edge through the creation of a robust digital infrastructure.”
For each winning city, the Smart Cities Council will deliver a one-day Readiness Program workshop with participants including approximately 100 of the city’s government leaders, private sector and academic experts, and other key local stakeholders. The Council will custom design each workshop to the special needs of that city, taking into account their immediate needs, long-term goals and current use of smart technologies.
The Readiness Program provides a significant in-kind contribution of professional services; access to best practices from some of the world’s top smart city practitioners; access to the expertise of leading smart cities technology providers in a vendor-neutral setting; the opportunity to learn from peer cities; and international visibility on the Council’s website and newsletter.
Smart Cities Council member companies and advisors have joined this initiative and will provide the winning cities with the following:
- Ameresco will provide consulting to help optimize smart street lighting.
- AT&T will provide up to 25 AT&T Internet of Things Starter Kits.
- CH2M and Qualcomm will collaborate to host a one-day follow-on workshop to develop and deploy a smart cities ecosystem.
- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) will provide free training, software, and access to its technology educational materials.
- Dow Building and Construction will provide consultation on optimizing building design as part of a smart cities ecosystem.
- IDC will assess each city’s progress through a comprehensive Smart City Maturity Benchmark.
- Sensus will provide a citywide hosted communications network free of charge for one year.
- Telit will provide each city free access to its Telit IoT platform.
- TM Forum will help cities assess progress through its Smart City Maturity and Benchmark Model.
- Transdev will provide up to three days of technical assistance to investigate new and more efficient urban mobility options.