Tech to Protect Challenge Opens Registration For National Innovation Contest June 1, 2019

BOULDER, Colo., May 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Tech to Protect Challenge, a national open innovation contest to advance public safety communications, announced registration for all in-person and online coding events will open June 1, 2019. Participants will be able to submit solutions to contests designed to create innovative communications technology for emergency responders.

Registration can be completed on the program website for both in-person and online participation, with opportunities for individuals and teams of participants to review contest criteria and submit solutions for judging.

In-person contests will be hosted in two bursts, September 27-29 and November 1-3, 2019, in 10 locations throughout the United States. Host cities include Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; College Station, TX; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, D.C.; and New York, NY. In addition to the in-person events, solutions may be submitted online June 1 through November 15, 2019.

“Emergency responders, including EMS, firefighters and law enforcement, operate in uniquely challenging environments,” said Dereck Orr, Division Chief of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division. “NIST is proud to be a part of this initiative and invites creative minds to collaboratively address these communication needs with innovative technology for the future.”

Participants of all skill levels are invited to compete for up to $2.2 million in cash prizes by creating and using innovative technologies, including mobile applications, programs and software, that will address 10 unique contests—from building a centralized mobile data dashboard to keep emergency responders continually aware of the security of their connections, to using augmented reality to determine the safest way to extract passengers in vehicle collisions.

“Emergency responders deserve the best tools and highest level of innovation to help them save lives and protect communities,” said Jeff Bratcher, Chief Technology and Operations Officer at the First Responder Network Authority. “With FirstNet, public safety now has a dedicated marketplace focused on their broadband communications needs, and this is creating new applications, technologies and software developed for their lifesaving mission. Tech to Protect Challenge will help drive the creation of these vital technologies.”

All participants will have access to resources—including researchers, scientists and public safety experts—to learn how emergency responders will use the technology and design their solutions. Each participant’s solution will be evaluated by a panel of judges to determine the winners. Participants will also have opportunities to showcase their expertise and talent, expand their professional portfolios and gain potential exposure to leading technology companies and incubators.

The Tech to Protect Challenge is proudly supported by the First Responder Network Authority, FirstNet Built with AT&T, Motorola Solutions and Axon.

For more information and ways to get involved, please visit  or email

About the Tech to Protect Challenge
The Tech to Protect Challenge is a national open innovation contest designed to help emergency responders—including EMS, firefighters, and law enforcement—meet their mission to serve and protect communities nationwide with new technology. The program is a federally-funded initiative led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division. The Tech to Protect Challenge is supported by SecondMuse, the global innovation accelerator behind NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, and RedFlash Group, a national public safety consulting firm.

Media Contact:
Alyssa Wickham
(760) 632-8280 x241


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