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The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) initiative aims to advance the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within a smart city environment. For that to happen, IoT projects need to be repeatable, scalable, and deliver tangible benefits to citizens.

The challenges facing cities of all sizes are complex – and become more so as IoT projects bring together different city agencies and organizations. Smart cities need one or more ecosystems of partners bringing their knowledge, technology, and knowhow to knit together all the pieces. Devices and sensors provide data for analysis via machine learning or cognitive learning that ultimately leads to better outcomes for constituents.

GCTC Phase 1 launched in 2015, with about 200 action clusters around specific topics, such as emergency response, economic development, energy, healthcare, homeland security, energy efficiency environment, and transportation.

See more at: https://www.us-ignite.org/globalcityteams/faq/#sthash.7a4YSyBt.dpuf

GCTC Phase 2 SuperClusters Kickoff Workshop took place October 25-26th in Washington, DC. Sponsored by the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US Ignite, the US International Trade Administration, US National Science Foundation, the US Department of State, the Governments of Japan, Korea, and Italy, and many non-profits and corporations, the 2-day event allowed participants to build teams and meet potential project partners to advance IoT in smart cities and communities.

The Action Clusters were organized into several SuperClusters:

  • Transportation
  • Public WiFi
  • Safety / Resilience / Disaster / Emergency Response
  • Energy / Utility / Water
  • City Platform
  • Healthcare / Environment

Facilitated discussions at the Kickoff Workshop helped the teams develop preliminary project plans for the coming months. Representatives from cities, technology companies, academic institutions and / or non-profits teamed up to work on specific projects and share best practices from existing projects with a focus on collaboration and economies of scale.

My biggest takeaway from this workshop was that large cities may have more flexibility with business models than small cities. For example, a large city may get free wi-fi and cleansed data in exchange for access to data from the wi-fi network. This business model may not be available for small cities, making it harder for them to adopt smart city projects. That’s one reason the work of the SuperClusters is so important: enabling teams to work together to create scalable, repeatable projects for any community. SuperClusters will demonstrate their results and deployments at the GCTC Expo in June 2017.

In the meantime, you may meet GCTC participants from cities, technology vendors, telecommunications providers, public private partnerships, and academia next week at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.

We hope to see you in Barcelona!

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