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Envision America

Major Firms, White House Launch Smart Cities Initiative

Envision AmericaBank of America, General Electric, Duke Energy, Autodesk, Microsoft and Cisco Systems are among the founding partners of the White House’s smart cities initiative announced yesterday that will invest more than $160 million in federal research and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities.

The smart cities initiative, called Envision America, aims to tackle challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services.

The initiative will also create test beds for internet of things applications and develop new multi-sector collaborative models, the White House says.

City leaders from 10 winning communities will participate in Envision America’s workshop in January in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they will work with leading experts from industry and academia to diagnose needs, workshop solutions, and develop new smart initiatives for their community. In addition, they will receive technical assistance throughout the year to support the implementation of their plans.

Winners will be selected for participation in the Envision America program on the basis of several criteria, including goals, collaborations among local institutions and other stakeholders, and commitment to developing innovative approaches foundational to smart cities.

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