Smart City IoT Innovation (SCITI – pronounced ‘CITY’) is a smart city solutions innovation lab created in collaboration between the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, CIT, TechNexus and Smart City Works.

SCITI Labs Mission

Collaboratively develop solutions designed to support First Responders’ capabilities in the Smart City environment, by providing technologies with market access, development capital, and aligning those technologies with larger tangential opportunities in broader industries.


We are actively looking for innovators developing technology directly aligned with the mission of First Responders and/or are in related industries (e.g. Smart Cities)

Innovator Collaboration

SCITI Labs brings together entrepreneurs, industry partners, technologists, investors and public sector influencers working in concert to actively advance breakthrough solutions. Selected innovators will be eligible to receive capital for prototyping.

Prototype Testing

Solutions apart of the SCITI Labs Program are evaluated on their ability to meet the core technology requirements (provided by DHS), but also by their application and commercial viability in adjacent markets.


A final group of innovators will be selected to receive capital and work hands on with First Responders and technology experts to define and accelerate their path-to-market with government and corporate partners.

Request for Innovators

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) First Responders Group (FRG) is partnering with the SCITI Labs team to prototype internet of things (IoT) and smart city technologies for emergency response and management.  This effort focuses on extensive validation and go-to-market support through industry partners.  SCITI Labs creates an accelerated pathway to market through prototype funding and access to first responders (end users) across the United States.  This initiative aims to have smart city and IoT capabilities commercially available for first responders by 2020. The call for applications will be open for submissions beginning January 4, 2018 through February 15, 2018.


This is a rolling submission process; applications will be processed as they are received. Applications open January 4, 2018. An abbreviated response expressing interest is due by January 18, 2018. Invited Final Responses due by February 15, 2018. Final performer selection estimated March 1, 2018.


The SCITI Labs team (CIT and partners Smart City Works and TechNexus) are seeking capabilities to support first responders in three designated areas. Selected performers will be funded for a first cut prototype, and some of those will be down-selected for a second funded validation prototype over a total period of 18 months. The goal at the end of the second round of prototyping is commercially-relevant capabilities that are also ready as a minimum viable product for initial field validation with responders.

Technology Areas:

Capabilities are solicited in three areas of interest, with more detailed specifications in the indicated links.

Navigation and Sensors. Autonomous navigation for indoor drones in support of search and rescue missions in difficult environments such as fire or earthquake damaged structures. Separate prototypes are also sought for two sensors either hand-carried or mounted on the drones: a WiFinder sensor for smart phone signals, and a thermal sensor for detecting the heat signatures of people or other living creatures <CLICK FOR MORE INFO>

Indoor Building Sensor Suite. Prototypes are sought for sensors such as digital image, video, thermal or WiFinder to be mounted on fixed indoor building features such as smoke detectors or EXIT signs. Sensor processing will be able to establish baseline layout of indoor space throughout a building, and perform change detection in case of events that impact interiors and/or occupants.     <CLICK FOR MORE INFO>

Smart Hub. Prototypes are sought for a body worn responder interoperability platform that integrates personal area network communications with third-party sensor packages (e.g. integrated voice/coms, indoor building sensor suites). Additionally, the Smart Hub will be required to communicate with non-body worn sensors such as smart building or smart city technologies. Use cases include, First Responder situational awareness and enhanced support of mission-critical operations.          <CLICK FOR MORE INFO>


First round stand-alone prototypes will be funded at $50K each. If a company proposes to integrate more than one area (for example, a combined WiFinder/thermal sensor) the funding may be increased. Second round prototypes will be funded at $100K. Extensive support will be provided for requirements, user feedback, capability validation and go-to-market strategy.

Evaluation Criteria:

Submitted concepts will be evaluated on the following criteria: ability for initial product to be available in a commercial market within the required schedule, mission fit, technology innovation, projected unit pricing, availability of non-Governmental revenue to support ongoing evolution of key technology (such as provided by adjacent commercial markets), company credentials, and other criteria. Our philosophy, as reflected in these criteria, is “commercial-first”, a bias towards products developed for commercial markets that can be quickly adapted to meet the needs of the responder community.

Application Process:

A simple form will start your application – link below. The FRG and the SCITI team will screen for the technical fit of your proposed capability, and applicants that provide a good fit will be requested to upload more detailed information about your company and offering. We will then request electronic or in-person discussion with selected companies before final selection, estimated to be around March 1, 2018.


For questions, please send questions to