The Tech to Protect Challenge announced the launch of its national contest to advance public safety communications. The contest is set to take place in 10 U.S. cities in late 2019.

The event introduces coding contests designed to foster technology solutions that will aid emergency responders in serving and protecting communities nationwide. With a series of 10 in-person coding events and an online contest, the Tech to Protect Challenge encourages widespread participation from a diverse community of innovators: students, researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, technologists, programmers, software developers and more. These individuals and groups, regardless of skill level, are invited to collaborate and develop technology that will address the complex communications challenges Emergency Medical Services (EMS), firefighters and police face daily.

“The Tech to Protect Challenge is the first-of-its-kind for the public safety industry,” said Dereck Orr, Division Chief of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. “This initiative will energize and link creative minds from all walks of life with the goal of creating groundbreaking solutions to improve the safety of their communities.”

The Tech to Protect Challenge will invite participants to submit creative solutions—including mobile apps, data systems and software interfaces—in 10 contests spanning technical areas including:

  • User Interface/User Experience
  • Location-Based Services
  • Security
  • Public Safety Mission Critical Voice
  • Public Safety Analytics
  • Resilient Communications Projects

The Tech to Protect Challenge is supported by AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority, an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce whose mission is to ensure the deployment and operation of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network being built in a public-private partnership with AT&T.