The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced last week that it is accepting applications for the second year of its Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. The SMART Grants Program was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021. The program will fund up to $500 million in grants over five years to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems that improve transportation efficiency and safety.
“New technologies like connected vehicles, smart traffic signals, and more have the potential to make our transportation system dramatically safer and more efficient, yet many public sector agencies aren’t equipped to harness the full potential of these innovations,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our SMART program helps give State, local, and Tribal governments the resources they need to find technological solutions to some of their most pressing transportation challenges.”
This SMART Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will accept applications for Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping grants. During Stage 1, the SMART program seeks to fund innovation aimed at solving real-world transportation problems and focused on building data and technology capacity and experience for State, local, and Tribal governments. The program also recognizes that many public sector transportation agencies face challenges finding the resources and personnel to leverage new technologies; so, the program builds in the time and support to enable successful deployment. Successful projects will create sustainable partnerships across sectors and levels of governments engaging industry, labor, academia, and nonprofits.
The funding opportunity is open to public sector entities seeking to carry out transportation projects that demonstrate at least one of the following technology areas:
- Coordinated automation
- Connected vehicles
- Systems integration
- Innovative aviation
- Smart grid
- Traffic signals
USDOT will host a “How to Apply for an FY23 SMART Grant” webinar on Thursday, August 17 at 2pm ET. During the webinar, USDOT staff will provide an overview of the SMART Grants Program, information about the application process, and themes from successful applications received during the first year of the program. Click here to register for the webinar.
The NOFO is open now and can be found on the SMART Grants Program website. It will also be posted on grants.gov later in the week. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, to the Valid Eval submission website.