Montgomery County Council Press Releases & Statements

County Councilmember Hans Riemer Praises Montgomery County Results in Today’s ‘SmartAmerica Challenge’.
  • Release ID: 14-170
  • Release Date: 6/11/2014
  • Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939 or Delphine Harriston240-777-7931
  • From: Council Office
Technologists with the Montgomery County government today at 1:40 p.m. will lead a team including representatives from UC-Irvine, MIT, IBM and others in presenting an “Internet of Things” project proposal at the SmartAmerica Challenge EXPO that would create a network to provide safety alerts from residents’ homes, enabling a leap forward in public safety services. The EXPO is a full-day event at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center.

Councilmember Riemer, the Council’s Lead for Digital Government, has worked on a variety of tech initiatives, including authoring the Open Data Policy Act in 2012. That legislation has been praised by independent organizations such as the Sunlight Foundation. Councilmember Riemer also championed transparency initiatives to video record and broadcast all Council committee worksessions, as well as post the results of all public records requests, on the County web site. That policy may be a first for local government in the U.S. Councilmember Riemer’s efforts are highlighted in the Spring 2014 edition of Socrata’s Open Innovation magazine.

Councilmember Riemer’s interest in leveraging high-speed fiber networks for research and economic development led him to convene discussions with technologists from organizations including Montgomery County’s Network Services Team, the Open Health Systems Laboratory and Johns Hopkins University. Those discussions included how to develop a high speed, intelligently connected innovation district. The group is growing to including property owners, companies, research organizations, incubators and others in Montgomery’s Great Seneca Science Corridor and around the County.

The discussion led the group to the SmartAmerica Challenge, where the County, under the leadership of County Chief Innovation Officer Dan Hoffman, teamed up with other national technology leaders to develop a project that uses advanced sensor technology to automate public safety alerts in connected houses. Broadband and WIFI-enabled sensors have been commercially available for some time for those who could afford them, but the team proposed to extend these same public safety services to vulnerable populations. This will enable local authorities to use the “Internet of Things” to receive safety alerts from homes connected to the system.

“Montgomery County is a real leader in technology and innovation, as our remarkable work with the SmartAmerica Challenge demonstrates,” said Councilmember Riemer. “I look forward to continuing my discussions with County technology sector leaders and launching new innovative projects in the coming years.”

Riemer will join the County Executive and team leaders on Wednesday for their presentation at the SmartAmerica EXPO. That will be followed by a discussion about the challenge with the Presidential Innovation Fellows at NIST, who have organized the project.

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