City of Raleigh skyline in the early evening

Our Mission

To catalyze collaboration between academia, industry and government to solve global problems facing modern communities. Harnessing NC State’s unique strengths to partner with municipalities, industry, nonprofits and other universities, we seek to advance applications and research while improving the human experience.


Smart Cities@NC State Presentation


What is a Smart City?

A Smart City creates solutions to global problems facing modern communities by collecting, monitoring and analyzing incredible amounts of data to make smarter decisions.

Ultimately, a Smart City increases access to information, enabling and engaging all citizens to make smarter decisions to improve the human experience.

Regional Opportunity: Smart Growth

As one of the fastest growing places in the country, the Research Triangle region is focused on smart growth. Home to ten colleges and universities, including three tier-one research universities, the Triangle is consistently ranked as a top location for job growth, technology and entrepreneurship.

Solving Global Challenges


NC State’s Unique Strengths

NC State is a national leader in industry-sponsored research, ranking in the top three among public universities without a medical school. With strengths in data analytics, advanced wireless, clean energy, wearables, advanced transportation, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and storage, NC State is uniquely positioned to solve the technological challenges facing modern cities and communities. Here are some examples:


Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is an initiative of business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders focused on accelerating the growth of the Research Triangle region’s cleantech economy. RTCC hosts events focused on Smart Cities innovations, specifically its SMART Series. Upcoming Events >>

NC Regional Internet of Things

NC Regional Internet of Things (RIoT) represents a network of technologists, engineers, business leaders, academics, policy makers and entrepreneurs, all of whom have a stake in the Internet of Things industry. RIoT’s network meets frequently to exchange ideas, learn new technologies and create new opportunities related to Smart Cities advancements. Upcoming Events >>

All Things Open – Oct. 23-24, 2017 – Raleigh, N.C.

All Things Open is the largest “Open” technology event on the east coast, exploring open source, open technology and the open enterprise. Learn More >>

WRAL Executive Exchange: The Evolution of a Smarter City – Nov. 1, 2017 – Wilson, N.C.

No matter the size, architecting a smart city is a community effort requiring a shared vision and unwavering focus. This event will convene city, industry and academic leaders in the heart of downtown Wilson to share strategies and ideas powering North Carolina cities like Wilson in their journey to become even smarter and more connected. Learn More >>

Triangle Smart Cities Summit – 2018

Hosted by NC State, this event will bring together local city, industry and academic leaders for engaged discussion and to share ideas to help make our region a smarter and more connected community. Mayors, industry and academic executives, and national leaders in the smart cities movement will be invited to talk about the biggest challenges they face and their current efforts and vision towards making the Triangle a smart region. More details to be announced in the coming months.


Highlighted Projects

City of Raleigh and NC State University Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Established in September 2016, this agreement formalizes a commitment to explore opportunities for engagement, partnership and collaboration related to Smart Cities initiatives.

Next Generation Planning Using 3D City Models

NC State’s Center for Geospatial Analytics is working with the City of Raleigh and a private vendor collaborator (ESRI) to develop technology to support 3D city model development and maintenance and its applications for city planning. This project is currently funded by a Next Century Cities grant.

TomorrowNow: Smart Civic Engagement in Rapidly Urbanizing Regions

A Research Collaboration Network (RCN) whose input will tailor a futuristic system called TomorrowNow. TomorrowNow will take the form of a multi-user online serious game that enables communities connected by shared water networks (and their associated challenges of stormwater runoff, surface water contamination, and groundwater quantity/quality) to competitively and collaboratively design alternative futures that optimize management of those water networks.

IoT Climate Control System for Office Buildings

The City of Raleigh’s Office of Sustainability is collaborating with NC State to inform the business process for space evaluation related to conference room usage. Using IoT approaches and finding ways to better manage room usage will result in increased efficiency.


A new and revolutionary way to think about transportation in urban and suburban environments. EcoPRT has all the advantages of a normal PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system and adds weight and cost reductions resulting in space and monetary savings. Developed by two NC State College of Engineering faculty.


RIoT Awarded $500k EDA Grant to Launch Startup Accelerator Program

$500,000 Awarded to NC RIoT Accelerator Program for Disruptive Technology through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. Read More >>

Next Century Cities Blog: InVision Raleigh

As access to broadband and high-speed gigabit fiber increases, there are great opportunities to develop next generation applications that enable new ways to engage with government. One such opportunity is to visualize the existing built environment as well as future potential build-out scenarios. This is the concept behind InVision Raleigh. Read More >>


For more information on Smart Cities @ NC State University please contact us and we’ll help you find the right ways to engage and connect:

Dennis KekasDennis Kekas
Associate Vice Chancellor
Office of Partnerships and Economic Development

Amy LubasAmy Lubas
Director, Strategic Projects
Office of Partnerships and Economic Development