The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Global Community Technology Challenge (GCTC) program has laid out three priority goals the program intends to meet between 2023 and 2025.


Michael Dunaway, the program lead for the Global Community Technology Challenge at NIST, explained how cities and communities across the nation are seeking to deploy advanced technologies to improve quality of life for their residents.


“The GCTC is a collaboration platform. It brings together cities, communities, industry, academic, and government stakeholders, seeking emerging technologies for smart cities and communities,” Dunaway said during the MITRE Smart Cities Summit on Jan 12.


One goal for the GCTC program is to evolve into a Federal agency partner in a national public-private partnership dedicated to the integration of advanced technologies for cities and communities.


“We want the public to understand what the benefits of [emerging technology] are, and to trust that the technology is being used appropriately in the correct fashion and with the right outcomes for their benefit,” Dunaway said. “So this is why the public-private partnership dimension of this is so important, but that partnership of course, like all partnerships, is based on trusted relationships.”


Along that same line, Dunaway explained that another goal for the program is to develop a research-based scientific foundation for the GCTC and the NIST Smart Cities Infrastructure program, “with initial emphasis on communications technologies to enhance public safety, and community resilience,” Dunaway said.


“We must establish a baseline of what it means to be a smart city. For us, it’s the efficient use of digital technologies and how digital technologies can provide prioritized services to benefit the community,” he added.


The third priority goal for the GCTC is to focus on NIST’s agenda for Smart Cities to emphasize technology access and trustworthiness and achieve a more equitable distribution of benefits to residents and communities.  


The GCTC also plans to release a strategic plan in the coming months which lays out how it plans to meet those goals. According to Dunaway, the strategy is currently under peer review and should be ready for public release no later than April 2023.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.