PSCR Announces 2 New Public-Safety Research Challenges
Thursday, April 04, 2019 | Comments

The National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division announced two new competitions to advance public-safety communications with research and development (R&D) to support first responders.

The Tech to Protect Challenge will be hosted in 10 U.S. cities to bring together a community of collaborators to develop technology solutions to help first responders improve the safety of communities. Researchers, entrepreneurs, technologists, students, programmers, designers and public-safety experts will come together to create solutions across critical technical areas of public-safety communications.

NIST anticipates awarding 182 prizes to top participants, from $1,000 to $100,000, totaling $2.2 million in cash prizes. The national innovation contest includes opportunities to participate in person and online beginning in June.

For more information, visit

Expanding the SIM Card Use for Public Safety Challenge asks contestants to investigate using a subscriber identity module (SIM) card as a storage container for authentication credentials that could help first responders securely access critical information.

The challenge will award up to $100,000 to the winning teams that propose their ideas on how they will securely store a file on a SIM card and create a mobile application that accesses a credential stored on a SIM card and authenticates to a FIDO2 service provider.

PSCR hopes to raise awareness of the need for convenient, standards-based two-factor authentication for emergency responders, while also demonstrating an innovative approach that could lead to future innovations.

Visit for more information on how to participate in the challenge.

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