NGCI: Next Generation Communication Interoperability
We tend to over estimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.

By Roy Amara, past president of The Institute for the Future.


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Challenges in equipment, voice, and data interoperability, as well as governance, access rights, and security, are obstacles to achieving effective emergency communications. The volume of emergency response and incident data that is collected, distributed, and analyzed in multiple forms, adds to the dynamic nature of this problem. As technology development is moving quickly and industry is addressing communications in a variety of ways, it is important that the first responder community also leverage the role of the public the uses of new media in emergency response and situational awareness.

To address these issues, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) held the first of a series of Next-Generation of Communications Interoperability (NGCI) Workshops and conversations in July 2011. The 2011 NGCI Workshop served as a forum for various stakeholders to discuss ideas and initiatives for meeting future emergency communications requirements.


Establish a technologist and futurist forum to identify emerging trends, needs, and impact areas, as well as identify specific technologies that will have a significant impact on public safety and DHS components in 2035.

Imagine the first responder of the future. As part of this forum, the NGCI Community seeks use cases, operational scenarios, and illustrations on where and how futuristic technologies could address the challenges of today. Please add your experience and insights to the topic discussions.

NCGI Community

One of the outputs of the workshop was the desire to have more regular conversation on emerging technology trends that could impact emergency response organizations. Consequently, the NGCI Community has been created to enable partners, experts, and customers to continue the conversation about next-generation communications interoperability. The NGCI Community forum is being structured to engage a larger group of thought leaders and practitioners concerned with interoperable communications to identify and discuss next-generation issues and emerging technology trends.


In the post Katrina era, it is critical that protocols are in place that protect the privacy and security of the public, while allowing those in the emergency management community to access and...
Creating scenarios that can help to focus interoperability needs and requirements is an important step for discussing what emerging trends, needs, and impact areas will be relevant for the Homeland...
In emergency management, network connectivity is key to communication, and many users expect connectivity during emergencies. Emergencies result in more people attempting to simultaneously...
The term "information sharing" gained focus after the 9/11 Commission Hearings in reference to the fact that government organizations failed to share information that, if shared, could have thwarted...
This topic enables NGCI community members to share upcoming and relevant events. For NGCI-sponsored events, please check out the Event tab.
In emergency management, governance has historically been based on a structured hierarchy. As social media, ad-hoc collaboration across agencies, organizations, and volunteers, and emerging...
Human-Computer Interaction
There are a multitude of ways that humans process information to extract knowledge and understanding from stimuli. Cold Cognition refers to the processes by which the brain processes information...
Human-Computer Interaction
To address this need, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is developing a pilot project using Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) Virtual Training (EVT), as it seeks to...
Human-Computer Interaction
The events to which the emergency management community must respond occur across a range of time scales and planning horizons. Some incidents are short duration, unforeseen events that require...
Human-Computer Interaction
Broadly, sensemaking is the process of extracting and synthesizing information from data. This task spans many domains, including finance, cyber or intelligence analysis, and emergency management....
Emergency management teams can always expect volunteers to emerge in emergency situations. This is called a convergence reaction. Research has shown that organized and trained volunteers are superior...
In emergency management, it is important to not only know what is happening in the present, but also to forecast what might happen in the future. This can be done by using past data to model and...
Building off of new pervasive or ever-present devices, an augmented reality offers the ability to integrate or overlay virtual information in the physical world. Mobile device communication is...
Emergency management situations generate an enormous amount of data, ranging from text reports (e.g. tweets, news articles, blog posts), to multimedia composed of images (e.g. maps, forecasts,...
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