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Global City Teams Challenge – SmartAmerica Round Two

Cyber-physical systems (CPS), sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), involves connecting smart devices and systems in diverse sectors such as transportation, energy, manufacturing, and healthcare in fundamentally new ways. Cities and communities around the world are increasingly turning to these advanced technologies to improve services, promote economic growth, and enhance the quality of life—to become “smart cities.”

Because many smart community development efforts are isolated, customized projects, NIST is launching the Global City Teams Challenge to encourage collaboration and the development of standards so that communities can benefit from the experience of others to improve efficiency and lower costs.

Innovators who already have IoT/CPS technologies (i.e., building blocks) can maximize their impact by fostering collaboration to create interconnected solutions that provide tangible benefits to end users. The Global City Teams Challenge will demonstrate a scalable and repeatable model for incubating and deploying interoperable, adaptable, and configurable IoT/CPS technologies in smart cities/communities.

The Challenge will:

  • Facilitate partnerships and interconnections among city and community planners and project managers so they can identify common issues
  • Facilitate partnerships and interconnections among technology innovators/providers so that they form teams around specific issues such as transportation, disaster response, energy, healthcare, environment, others, or any combination of the above
  • Facilitate partnerships between the cities/communities and innovators/providers through “Action Clusters” that will bring together cities and innovators around specific issues to jointly identify solutions that are scalable and reproducible
  • Give participants the chance to contribute to the development of the NIST Smart Cities Framework by addressing standards and measurement challenges in deploying IoT and CPS that will serve as the basis for framework
  • Give participants the chance to contribute to an IoT Global Connectivity Fabric Strategy of architectures and guidelines for interconnected “systems of systems” and a common data exchange/data analytics model for large scale IoT deployments

Building on the success of the SmartAmerica Challenge

The Global City Teams Challenge is an expansion of the successful SmartAmerica Challenge (Round One), which from Dec. 2013 through June 2014 brought together more than 100 companies, universities and other organizations to form teams that developed and applied networked technologies. That challenge demonstrated that these technologies have the potential to create jobs and business opportunities and provide socio-economic benefits.

Who should join the Global City Teams Challenge

  • Cities/communities around the world interested in accessing and deploying innovative IoT/CPS technologies
  • Technology innovators/providers
  • Participants in the SmartAmerica Challenge

Join the Challenge Now

US Ignite, a nonprofit focused on the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit, is partnering with NIST and hosting a website where communities and technology innovators can sign up to create teams. To participate in the Challenge, please sign up at

Get together

Sept. 29 and 30, 2014, for a kick-off workshop at NIST’s Gaithersburg, MD., campus that will bring together city planners and representatives from technology companies, academic institutions and non-profits. The workshop will be webcast. Register at

Stay tuned for a TechJam in the winter of 2015 and a SmartAmerica/Global City Teams Festival in June 2015.

Partners in the challenge include the National Science Foundation; the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services; and, from the private sector, Intel, IBM, Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks, Cisco, Qualcomm, and ARM Holdings.

For further information, contact:

Sokwoo Rhee (
Associate Director, Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems

Additional resources:

Global City Teams Challenge Kick-off workshop registration page:

Global City Teams Challenge Participation sign-up page:

SmartAmerica Challenge Round One websites: