The White House

Obama’s $80M reinvestment in smart city tech touches Kansas City

Originally posted by Bobby Burch of the Startland News

In a move that will provide the Kansas City area more resources to develop Internet of Things technology, President Obama’s administration announced Monday that it’s boosting support of U.S. smart city infrastructure.

The White House issued a statement that it’s expanding its Smart Cities Initiative with more than $80 million in new investments. The move also will double the number of participating communities, exceeding 70 in total. The announcement kicks off U.S. “Smart Cities Week,” which spans Sept. 27 – 29.

“If we can reconceive of our government so that the interactions and the interplay between private sector, nonprofits, and government are opened up, and we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that is not soluble,” President Barack Obama said in a release.

The White House launched the Smart Cities Initiative in September 2015, which marked the beginning of its work with the Kansas City tech community. The initiative aims to make it easier for cities, federal agencies, universities and the private sector to collaborate on technologies “that make our cities more inhabitable, cleaner and more equitable,” the White House wrote in a release.

As part of the new $80 million funds, Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan. tech leaders will work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other collaborators to develop Internet of Things innovations.

Area officials will participate in the NIST’s Global City Teams Challenge with Portland, Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, and other cities to contact tech for large-scale natural disasters, intelligent transportation systems and regional air quality improvements. Cities, several federal agencies and tech corporations — such as IBM, AT&T and others — will develop plans for shared solutions that will be collaboratively implemented in multiple communities.

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