DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer



A public innovation challenge addressing public safety and health in the District of Columbia leveraging the availability of 5G capabilities
Live Demo Showcase at Futures Forum

Challenge Overview

The DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) and partners, invites local developers, engineers and innovators to think about how the future of public safety and public health technology will benefit from 5G.

From virtual command centers to augmented reality training simulations; drone-assisted disaster response to AI health screening, the next-generation of broadband will empower first responders, health professionals and community organizations to deliver vital services faster, securely and equitably.



DCx is a two-phased, reverse pitch competition in which competitors will submit proposed proof-of-concepts to develop and demonstrate gigabit app solutions that address public safety and/or public health challenges. In phase two, semi-finalists will advance their concepts and build prototypes of proposed solutions for a chance to receive one of two final awards. 

  • Phase 1 Proof of Concept: Up to four (4) semi-finalists will be invited to advance to phase 2 and will split $14,500 in award funds to reimburse costs associated with phase 1.
  • Phase 2 Prototype: Finalist(s) will receive or split $20,000 in award funds.

Competitors will have access to engineer mentors and subject matter experts to advise and answer questions throughout the process. Proposals can focus on one or both challenge areas. 

Inclusive Innovation

We want to ensure that we are solving real problems and are doing so with equity and accessibility in mind. DC values an inclusive environment that makes the lives of everyone in DC better and ensures no one is left behind.


What is a Gigabit Application?

With the emergence of gigabit services to the home and 5G wireless networks, capabilities enabled by such speed will rapidly become more main-stream. A next-generation or “gigabit” application is a high-performance application that leverage the power of gigabit-speed networks to address real-world challenges. Gigabit applications often rely on complex interactions of Internet of Things/cyber-physical systems and local cloud computing to enable the efficient processing of big data and low-latency response time.  


Potential DCx Solutions

  • How can patient data sharing between emergency medical responders and hospitals be improved?
  • How can systems, such as gunshot detection and video cameras and other data sources be integrated and synced to deliver real-time intelligence to responders?
  • How can body worn camera technology be optimized?
  • How can we use artificial intelligence and/or augmented and virtual reality to better train emergency services and first responders?
  • How can we make public data from DC cameras and other sensors for design or developers to access and model the data?
  • How can we use technology to respond and reduce the number of opioid cases in the District?




DCx Partners


The award funding for DCx is made available through DC’s partnership with US Ignite and the Smart Gigabit Communities program funded by the National Science Foundation.


Challenge Guidelines


Phase 1: Proof of Concept

Your proof of concept will be judged on:

  1. Technical soundness and design (more on that below)
  2. Innovative approach and weight of impact
  3. Cost to prototype and potential ROI
  4. Team capability
  5. Inclusion, equity and accessibility
  6. Public benefit

5G Technical Requirements

This is a gigabit challenge after all. Your 5G enabled solution could show:

  • Use of greater bandwidth for applications
  • How lower latency is enabling your applications to deliver near-real-time updates and/or performs rapid data analysis
  • Better management of a multitude of connected devices that can provide critical data for optimizing public safety or health systems

Before you submit, please consider the following:

  • Operational Efficiency + Resiliency 
    DC prioritizes maximizing public benefit and ensuring financial, operational, and environmental sustainability.
  • Equity + Accessibility
    Always check for and address barriers in your  solution that may result in inequitable service delivery or unintended biases.
  • Do you know DC? 
    No really, do you? The quickest way to our heart is to show us how your product or service addresses the needs of DC.
  • The District places a high value on open data, privacy and cybersecurity. Show us you do too. 
    Do your policies comply with existing best practices?
  • Are you solving a real problem?
    Strong and well evidenced use cases which demonstrate need, business case and public benefit.
  • Don’t submit a pre-formatted sales pitch.
    We can tell when companies CTL-FIND-REPLACE City X with DC. Not cool.

Technical Assistance

For teams chosen to advance to the second phase an optional working event/build day will be offered at the Verizon 5G lab at the Alley in DC if there is enough demand. Please fill out the pre-registration form by July 15 form to help us gauge interest in such a resource.


Semi-Finalists: Up to four (4) selected will split up to $14,500
Finalist: $20,000

Eligibility Requirements

  • 18 or older at the time of entry
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or its territories
  • Affiliated with a US-based, non-profit organization (including educational institutions) or for-profit organization (LLC, etc.)
  • Not an employee(s) of the District of Columbia Government.


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