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Public Safety Innovation Impacts

Return on Investment

The Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act marked an unparalleled push toward next-generation technologies for public safety by allocating $300 million to accelerate cutting-edge communications research. NIST's Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division delivered public-private partnerships that drove research and development of critical, life-saving communications capabilities for first responders.

A 2021 report outlines the $509.8M economic impact of the NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division. PSCR serves as a catalyst for driving current and future capabilities made possible by the emergence of NextG technology—augmented reality, ground truth accuracy, and more. With funding from the Tax Relief Act ending in 2022, NIST continues to explore funding opportunities for these life-saving programs.

Sustained funding for PSCR ensures continued:

  • Collaboration with public safety stakeholders to develop standards and requirements necessary for emergency, planned, and disaster situations that threaten the safety of citizens, first responders, and property.
  • Development of requirements into standards in partnership with industry and academia.
  • Testing and evaluation of cutting-edge technologies for public safety use cases.
  • Recruitment of problem solvers from around the world to participate in its Open Innovation program, which is responsible for converting more innovators than ever before to work on issues facing public safety communications technologies.
  • R&D support into future technologies, which will be integral to the success of FirstNet as it evolves.

Watch the video below to learn more about PSCR.

PSCR: Pulling the Future Forward
PSCR: Pulling the Future Forward
This brand film showcases PSCR's values and mission by discussing the communications technology needs of first responders and the research conducted by the Division and its partners to solve those issues. There are many emerging technologies that first responders can benefit from using to protect communities and save lives. Division Chief Dereck Orr provides a brief message to inspire stakeholders and highlight the importance of innovation in this space. 


Click on a button below to learn more about some of PSCR's focus areas.

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Created February 4, 2021, Updated March 2, 2022