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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

DHS, NIST to jointly sponsor Global City Teams Challenge for “smart city” solutions in 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), recently announced that they will jointly sponsor the 2018 Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), a competition that will focus on designed-in cybersecurity solutions for “smart city” systems that are resilient and protective of privacy.

The competition was launched in 2014 and aims to assist communities in partnering with cybersecurity professionals who utilize networked technologies to solve a variety of issues including traffic improvements, energy management, and emergency response efforts.

Previous GCTC “smart city” efforts have resulted in enabling cities to use wireless sensors to test water mains for leaks and to dim streetlights when a sidewalk in empty to conserve energy.

“The GCTC has been extremely successful in creating partnerships between cities and companies,” Chris Greer, director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program, said. “But we need cybersecurity and trustworthiness in the projects themselves. So, we’re taking on the new challenge of helping the teams converge on secure solutions.”

NIST said the newest phase for the GCTC, titled the Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge (SC3), will aim to enable communities to secure themselves against a potential cyberattack and will be led by NIST and DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

“NIST has good ties to the smart city ecosystem, including local communities and technology companies,” DHS S&T Director Douglas Maughan said. “DHS S&T CSD has excellent connections to the cybersecurity industry and to cybersecurity researchers. The SC3 is designed to connect these groups so that our smart city solutions will be reliable and resilient, and will also protect our privacy.”

One major long-term goal for the GCTC highlighted by NIST was the promotion of a robust marketplace of replicable, standards-based Internet of Things (IoT) solutions available to communities worldwide to meet their smart city needs.

According to NIST, the SC3 initiative will include participation from companies including AT&T, Verizon, and Motorola Solutions. International participants reportedly will include Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Nigeria, Portugal, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.