NIST PSCR Awards Public-Private Partnership $1M to Address Technology Challenges
Wednesday, October 07, 2020 | Comments

RapidSOS, Responder Corp, Orleans Parish Communication District and the Western Fire Chiefs Association received the $1 million Accelerate R2 Network Challenge grant funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with subject matter expertise from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

Together, along with the state of New Hampshire serving as a key strategic partner and collaborator, these partners will form a national, free-to-use and self-sustaining platform that brings stakeholders together to support innovators and agencies in empowering first responders with the tools and technologies they need to stay safe and protect the nation’s communities.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic consistently generating new and unique demands from our citizenry, strengthening intelligence and response innovation is as critical as ever," said Tyrell Morris, executive director of Orleans Parish Communication District. "We are excited to participate as the 9-1-1 agency representative in the R2 Network, providing insights into challenges agencies are facing across the country."

The R2 Network will consist of a three-part approach:
• R2 Learn: Resources to educate entrepreneurs and public-safety departments on the unique challenges and opportunities of the public-safety markets
• R2 Portal: An online solution innovators and departments can use to source, vet and commercialize or deploy new technology
• R2 Connect: Programming and events to create strategic exchange and enable the community to share, learn and adopt best practices and new technology

"By bridging the gap between innovators and first responders, the R2 Network will help ensure public safety has the right technology to solve ever growing needs,” said Responder Corp CEO Nathanial Wish. “Our team is committed to building the long-needed resources we believe will accelerate the speed at which technology can help build more responsive and resilient communities.”

The public-private partnership will match the grant, representing a total $2 million contribution to drive entrepreneurship and development of public-safety technology. Interested public-safety agencies and entrepreneurs can learn more and sign up for updates at r2network.com.

"Technology has not caught up with the needs of public safety,” said Chief Jeff Johnson, Western Fire Chiefs Association CEO. “The technology pieces are there, but they are just not assembled, built for and aligned in a way that is useful for first responders. We are excited to work with our R2 Network partners to solve for this."

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