NIST challenges industry, academia to smart city development

Global City Teams Challenge encourages tech companies and city planners to leverage IoT networks to improve quality of life.

Washington, D.C. Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (NIST) and several partners kicked off the Global City Teams Challenge, a year-long project aimed at helping communities around the world leverage technologies to foster the growth of smart cities. Issues range from air quality and traffic management to emergency services coordination, with the goal of better managing resources to improve quality of life. The challenge will begin with a two-day workshop on September 29th and 30th at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg. MD that will bring together technology companies, academic institutions, city planners, and non-profit organizations. International participants will be able to join via webcast.

The challenge was announced during today’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Business Forum, and will be supported by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). ITA will assist U.S. companies in the challenge with exporting their products and services overseas and by connecting them with foreign government officials.

“The Global City Teams Challenge will help communities around the world work together on shared challenges,” says Chris Greer, Director of Smart Grid and Program Office, NIST. “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 Global City Teams Challenge will be a good opportunity for public chief technology officers and private industry innovators to come together,” Greer continues. “Participating will help cities and innovators use the () and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) concepts in ways that improve quality of life in urban centers and also bring improvements to agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and more.”

To support the challenge, NIST has teamed with multiple partners, including US Ignite; the National Science Foundation; the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services; Intel, IBM, Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks, and ARM Holdings. For more information on the Global City Teams Challenge, visit To register for the September workshop, go to