FRST Challenge Awards Phase Four Prize Winners

6 Teams Received $1,128,000 in Prize Money to Support Continued Development of Life-Saving Solutions.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (May 8, 2023) — The FRST Challenge, an innovation challenge bringing together technical teams and first responders to create solutions for providing precise location details of first responders inside a structure, announced its Phase Four Prize Winners. A team of expert judges evaluated submissions to determine the six recipients of the $1,128,000 total prize purse for Phase Four. 

Following in-person demonstrations at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC) in Muscatatuck, Indiana, the following teams were named Phase Four Prize Winners recognizing excellence in continued solution development and demonstration of a viable life-saving solution. Phase Four submission included refined whitepapers, including a business plan, in-person scenario data, and a narrative summary of scenario data. 

The Phase Four Award Winners were awarded prize money according to their team placement. The final award winner placement was:  

  1. Smart Firefighting, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois 
  2. Ravenswood, headquartered in Fremont, California 
  3. AdaptiTrace, headquartered in Holly Springs, North Carolina 
  4. Tie between three teams: 
    • BC Sysnav, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland 
    • CHARLI, headquartered in Bouguenais, France 
    • Epic Blue Dot, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium 

“The in-person competition at MUTC highlighted the impressive solutions in development. In real-world scenarios, the Award Winners demonstrated significant promise for the development of a meaningful solution for Phase saving first responder lives,” said Sonny Kirkley, FRST project director. “The competitive teams have paired first responder experience understanding with innovation and technical expertise to bring innovative, thoughtful solutions to bear.” 

The in-person solution competition took place at MUTC from March 27 to March 30, 2023. A 1,000-acre urban training facility located near Butlerville, Indiana, MUTC is used to train civilian first responders, Foreign Service Institute, joint civilian/military response operations, and military urban warfare. FRST Challenge teams from all over the world tested their technology in four real-world scenarios including search and rescue, active shooter, and structure fires.  

Phase Four was intended to determine solution viability in real-world scenarios. Technology was worn by members of the Columbus Fire Department and data was collected as the technology was taken through each scenario encountering environmental challenges such as darkness and smoke.  

Led by the Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab in the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University, and funded by an $8 million cooperative agreement from the Public Safety Communications Research Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the challenge formally launched on March 1, 2022. Phase Four submission was completed on April 13, 2023. 

The FRST Challenge will conclude in October 2023 with advanced live field testing. Prize money will be awarded in each phase of the competition with a total of $5.6 million in prize funds awarded across five phases of the competition. 

Visit  to learn more about the Phase Four winners and competition. 

About the Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab 
The Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab is a collaboration between the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and University Information Technology Services, and is housed in the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University. The lab’s mission is to research and develop practical, efficient, effective, and equitable technologies and solutions to improve readiness and scale response to crises and disasters. 

About the Pervasive Technology Institute 
The Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University is a collaborative organization designed to marshal IU’s computational experts and resources quickly in response to societal, research, and educational needs. In partnership with University Information Technology Services, the Pervasive Technology Institute also led the original Jetstream award. The institute was established in 1999 by a grant from the Lilly Endowment and has continued to lead productive uses and applications of research technologies for over 20 years. 

About University Information Technology Services 
University Information Technology Services is part of the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer for Indiana University. It provides services across all IU campuses to support the university’s mission.