The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) www.nist.gov awarded $38.5 million to 33 R&D projects aimed at advancing broadband communications technologies for first responders.
The multiyear grants will help modernize public safety communications and operations by supporting the migration of data, video, and voice communications from mobile radio to a nationwide public safety broadband network. The grants will also help accelerate critical technologies related to indoor location tracking and public safety analytics.
The Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program is funded by NIST’s $300 million allocation from the 2015 auction of advanced wireless service licenses. Also the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 provided funding so that NIST could conduct an R&D program to help public safety overcome critical technical barriers, spur innovation as well as invest in public safety broadband to realize the full potential of wireless broadband capabilities.
NIST reviewed 162 proposals from a diverse pool of national and international applicants across industry, academia, and public safety organizations. The 33 selected projects span five key technology areas that show potential to greatly improve public safety communications and operations.
The five key technology areas include:
- Moving from traditional radios to cellular systems
- Provide for location-based services by conducting indoor positioning, navigation, and mapping
- Using public safety analytics to handle and exploit more data
- Perform research to develop more low-cost R&D tools
- Develop resilient systems to ensure that systems work in poor conditions.
Go to www.nist.gov then click on News for the list of the awardees and their projects.