Bridging the American Infrastructure Gap - The 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge

Crumbling infrastructure and depleted government budgets are putting a strain on municipalities, states, and communities across the country. At the same time, advances in technology are creating new opportunities to solve our most pressing needs that can help to alleviate these stresses for agencies and communities.

This week leaders from several federal agencies, public-private partnerships, and leading enterprise organizations began releasing program and partnership details for the 2018 Smart Infrastructure Challenge that was first previewed at The National Press Club in February along with the launch of the Congressional Smart Cities Caucus.

“We must expand the conversation when it comes to infrastructure to include technology and IT systems,” stated Congressman Brendan Boyle at the preview event that was hosted by Venture Smarter, a leading Smart Cities firm.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn also spoke at the event. “Today I express my strong support for smart cities, smart regional planning, and smart infrastructure builds… The benefits of broadband-enabled technologies are vast. But the challenges, particularly for economically disadvantaged communities, are many.”

The Challenge calls for regional teams to integrate smart - or IoT enabled - technologies and solutions into existing or emerging infrastructure plans to optimize or altogether replace outdated systems while providing measurable impact for residents that need it most. Teams have already expressed intent to participate from all over the country, where focuses range from building smart roads, incorporating electric vehicle infrastructure, integrating intelligent traffic systems, and launching bus rapid transit to enabling autonomous vehicles, Hyperloop, and even flying taxis. Teams have six months, from April 26 to October 25, 2018, to create a vision and response to the challenge. Top teams will earn access to project funding, support resources, and infrastructure financing to pursue their smart infrastructure visions.

Program partners and supporters include: Regional Smart Cities Initiative, National Infrastructure and Investment Alliance, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Global City Teams Challenge, Venture Smarter, Smart City Capital, Smart City Infrastructure, Spherical Analytics, Cisco, Oracle, and many more.

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