U.S. government to invest over $160mn in IoT Smart Cities initiative
Tue 15 Sep 2015
The White House has announced its commitment to emerging tech investment with a new ‘Smart Cities’ internet of things (IoT) initiative, into which it will channel over $160mn (approx. £104mn).
The funding will be distributed across 25 projects that will leverage Big Data and analytics to support communities to reduce traffic congestion, fight crime, spur economic growth, manage climate change and improve delivery of local services.
More than 20 U.S. cities will be involved in the Smart Cities scheme, as well as industry leaders, universities and federal departments who will support the collaborations with research infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security, the departments of Transportation, Energy and Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency will help investigate new IoT-based solutions in safety, energy, climate change, transport and health.
‘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,’ read the official statement.
Of the new grants, a $35mn investment with $10mn in proposed additional funding, will be dedicated to establishing IoT research programs by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Through this partnership a new Cyber-Physical Systems awards program will support research on smart and connected communities, promoting local integration of computing, networking, and physical systems such as self-driving cars and smart buildings.
The initiative will also involve the participation of the general public. The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would make valuable city data available to communities through the open-source project CitySDK. The White House suggests this community involvement will help incubate new smart apps with civic benefits based on open data principles.
The new push is also expected to pursue international collaborations, with growing resource challenges in Africa and Asia, which demand innovative solutions, presenting a significant export opportunity for the U.S.