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IU launches First Responder Smart Tracking Challenge, the R2 Portal's First Community, in Partnership with the R2 Network

Join the Challenge today to submit your Phase 1 application

The FRST Responder Smart Tracking Challenge (FRST) is an $8 million cooperative agreement funded by the Public Safety Communications Research Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A five-phase challenge, FRST is striving to find the best technology solutions for locating first responders inside structures.

Tracking has long been a problem for first responders. The First Responder Smart Tracking Challenge (FRST) was created to identify 3D tracking technology that can give first responders one-meter accuracy in an indoor setting.

In partnership with the R2 Network and Resultant, the Indiana University Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab has built a first-of-its-kind enablement community on the R2 Portal to manage and run the challenge. The FRST Community is a new feature launched by the R2 Portal to directly connect innovators of first responder technology to end-users for enhanced collaboration.

The world needs better location-based services to track First Responders when they’re inside a building. Our partnership with the R2 Network has been critical in helping the FRST Challenge work towards our shared goal of creating innovative technologies to help save lives and protect our First Responders.

Sonny Kirkley, FRST project director

Built on the R2 Portal by the R2 Network, members of the FRST Challenge have access to a community of peers, mentors, and First Responders, available to all challenge participants upon signing up. The FRST Community includes a resource library, access to a curated list of R2 Network and FRST events, team building capabilities, forums to connect and engage with other challenge members, and direct submission capabilities for each phase of the challenge.

The R2 Network will continue to build and grow the FRST Community throughout the lifecycle of the Challenge.

The FRST Challenge is a great opportunity to solve a critical and life-threatening technology gap for First Responders. The R2 Portal is a key resource to help find those technologies while creating a diverse community of leaders in public safety innovation.

Bryce Stirton, R2 Network program director

The first phase of the challenge requires teams to submit a concept paper describing their proposed technology solution, their team qualifications, and their public safety partnership. Participants can now submit their Phase 1 Application within the FRST Community!

Interested in joining the challenge? Do you have a solution to help track First Responders indoors?

Join the FRST Challenge and submit your Phase 1 Application!

To learn more about the FRST Challenge, join the FRST Team for office hours weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays.

By partnering with the R2 Network, the FRST Challenge is able to connect and create a community of innovative problem-solvers, first responders, mentors, and service providers centered around location-based tracking solutions. Success in this community is critical to protecting first responders and saving lives.

Haley Molchan, FRST program manager, IU Crisis Technologies Lab, FRST Challenge

About the R2 Network

The R2 Network is a public innovation network backed by a $1 million federal grant put forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Administration, FirstNet Authority, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Created out of a need to face the nation’s most pressing Response and Resiliency challenges, the R2 network delivers resources, tools, and opportunities to entrepreneurs and first responders to commercialize and deploy new technology.

About The IU Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab

The Indiana University (IU) Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab (CTIL) is a collaboration between the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering (SICE) and Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) to accelerate research and practice on the use of next generation technologies in the front lines of emergency and crisis response. Crisis has become the “new normal” for our society. Whether it's the first pandemic in more than 100 years, or climate change causing raging wildfires and massive hurricanes, it's all becoming a regular part of our existence. Many communities also must contend with aging and vulnerable infrastructure, making emergency response harder than it has to be. Our lab was born out of necessity, and we devote ourselves to finding new ways to use technology to help with emergency, crisis, and disaster response.