Virginia selects partners for smart city testbed

  • May 13, 2020
  • imc

Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) has selected partners to build a smart community. The contract agreements signal the official start of building a technology testbed in Stafford County.
 
Four contracts have been issued to build Stafford’s technology testbed, a key milestone for the public-private partnership developing Virginia’s first ground-up smart community.
 
Expected to be up and running in five to six weeks, the smart city technology testbed will focus on IoT device security to help prevent community ransomware attacks, and protect the privacy of citizens, while providing critical data to help the county improve operations and services.
 
The testbed will act as a living laboratory by testing emerging technologies in real-world situations and providing a long-term capability that can be used to validate innovation before bringing it into the operational Smart Stafford infrastructure.
 
To begin the build, contracts were awarded to systems integrator OST Global, Mutualink for IoT device integration, Onclave Networks for IoT device security, and Aer Wireless for connectivity.
 
“Security and privacy are a critical foundation for building sustainable smart communities,” said John Holden, director of Stafford economic development and tourism. “We are excited to see this ground-breaking project kick off with the support of our technology partners. The testbed illustrates our commitment to public-private partnerships, innovation and entrepreneurship in Stafford and provides a unique opportunity for downtown Stafford to be the model for smart cities across the commonwealth.”
 
The project builds on work done for the Department of Homeland Security at George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena last autumn. This was a large-scale experimental IoT deployment at the arena that demonstrated dual-use capability for both daily facility operations and first responder information in emergency situations.
 
The Stafford County effort is funded through investments from the Department of Homeland Security and Virginia Smart Community initiatives. It will include activities in Stafford County and Arlington.
 
The CIT concentrates on the early commercialisation and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs, and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, the CIT accelerates technologies and technology companies through commercialisation, capital formation, market development initiatives and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia.
 
Aer Wireless, a Virginia-based company, offers wireless last-kilometre technology that provides simple, fast, affordable broadband connectivity with a focus on rural America. Its mission is to provide rapid deployment of high-speed internet to help communities improve economic development, telemedicine, distance learning, and other smart city and quality-of-life services anywhere, regardless of the terrain. With a proprietary mesh network technology, powered by Mage Networks, and a combination of technology and services, its customers can enjoy fast wifi internet at home, outdoors, or on the move.
 
Mutualink provides an interoperable communications platform that enables community-wide multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment. Its system is deployed by thousands of public safety and private security entities and facilities, including homeland security, police and fire departments, emergency operations centres, hospitals, schools and universities, transit authorities, stadiums, shopping malls, and casinos. Mutualink is a privately held company headquartered in Connecticut, with R&D facilities in Massachusetts, Texas and Puerto Rico.
 
Onclave Networks is a Virginia-based technology company offering secure IoT through a channel of system integrators and device OEMs globally. Onclave formed and patented its technology in 2016. Secure IoT is a zero trust secure communications platform for enterprises and device OEMs that runs and protects operational technologies regardless of age, operating system, manufacturer or protocol. It includes continuous monitoring with isolation and containment by design to eliminate the OT attack surface and improve enterprise protection while reducing costs.
 
OST Global specialises in implementing smart city projects and provides C4ISR, cyber, engineering, logistics, managed services and smart technologies. OST serves multiple industries, including aviation, defence, financial, health, insurance, utility and transportation. It is headquartered in Washington DC.