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Compass Intelligence
The US administration yesterday announced the launch of a $160 million smart cities initiative

The US Government yesterday launched a smart cities initiative that will see over US$160 million injected into federal research.

The plan will also leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services.

According to a statement by the White House, the initiative will see more than US$35 million in new grants and over US$10 million in proposed investments to build a research infrastructure for smart cities.

Over US$45 million will be used to fund investments to unlock new solutions in safety, energy, climate preparedness, transportation, and health, among others.

Key energy initiatives

  • US$4 million to support innovative research and emerging technologies through academic-industry collaborations – and translate these into smart service systems, such as smart energy services and on-demand transportation.
  • US$2.5 million in new research awards to support improvements in the design and operation of interdependent critical infrastructure, such as electrical power and transportation systems, ensuring they are resilient to disruptions and failures from any cause.
  • US$5 million for the creation of a new SMART Mobility consortium. The “Systems and Modeling for Accelerated Research in Transportation (SMART) Mobility consortium to examine the nexus of energy and mobility for future transportation systems,” according to the White House. The initial the project will focus on “connected and automated vehicles, urban science, decision science, multi-modal transport, and integrated vehicle-fueling infrastructure systems.”
  • Over US$3 million will fund smart building technology development, which will “optimize operational performance, maximize energy savings, and participate in smart communications within buildings, from building to building, and from buildings to the grid.” The Department of Energy (DoE) will also lead efforts with multiple private sector groups to leverage the work of the existing Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator to promote improved access to building energy data in new cities across the US.
  • A Smart Grid Integration Challenge for Cities, offering at least $1 million in funding. This will support city efforts to implement sensing, data sharing, and data analytics to achieve city goals for reducing energy consumption.

President Barack Obama said: “Every community is different, with different needs and different approaches.  But communities that are making the most progress on these issues have some things in common.  They don't look for a single silver bullet; instead they bring together local government and nonprofits and businesses and teachers and parents around a shared goal.”