Hampton Roads: Resilience Testbed for Innovation

Hampton Roads in southeastern Virginia is a globally critical region. Home to the largest concentration of U.S. defense facilities in the world, including world’s largest naval base, and the third largest commercial port on the East Coast, the region is a hub for trade and a security nexus for the world. A combination of the region’s cities’ diverse typologies, climate change challenges and assets makes Hampton Roads an attractive resilience innovation hub for entrepreneurs.

RISE brokers access to the region’s living testbed to innovators and businesses in need of testing and demonstrating new resilience-building solutions. RISE facilitates access to test sites and infrastructure, data and key stakeholders. RISE also manages permitting to allow installations on cities’ property.

Regional Assets that are part of the Resilience Testbed include:

Municipal governments in the region offer opportunities to test ideas in city-owned spaces and provide accelerated access to city staff experts, datasets, and permitting to help companies innovate.

Research organizations including NASA Langley Research Center, and The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory. These organizations serve as a resource to the living laboratory’s efforts.

Military installations including Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base complex in the world, Fort Eustis, Langley Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Oceana and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allied Command Transformation HQ. These organizations face many of the same resilience challenges as the community.

Universities including, Christopher Newport University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University (ODU), Tidewater Community College System, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the William and Mary, support innovative resilience approaches by providing access to research, subject matter experts and other assets.

The Port of Virginia, one of the largest deep water ports on the East Coast.

Entrepreneurial organizations including 757 Accelerate, 757 Seed, 757 Angels, ODU Innovation Center, and ICAP among others. These assets provide entrepreneurs with customized resources they need to grow.


Wireless Communications Evaluation Program

Wireless Communications Evaluation Program

In 2018 RISE established and conducted a 4-month evaluation program to assess wireless communication systems to support the deployment of water sensors. In the future such sensors will support the development of mobile apps to provide residents and businesses with real-time awareness about road flooding, among other uses. Five businesses installed their gateway radios and wireless sensors on City of Norfolk buildings, lamp posts and bridges. During the 4-month pilot period, RISE evaluated systems for:

  • Ease of installation and operation
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Ease of data delivery and management
  • Cost

Learn More

Low Cost Flood Sensors Evaluation Program

Low Cost Flood Sensors Evaluation Program

RISE provided support to three flood sensor companies funded by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants through the Department of Homeland Security. In all, 30+ sensors in 10 different locations were tested and evaluated in Norfolk’s urban environment over six months in 2018-2019. RISE worked with the City of Norfolk, vendors and DHS to coordinate the use of the city as a resilience test bed for this project while fostering the commercialization of low-cost flood sensors with DHS. Learn More

dMIST: Data-Driven Management for Independant Stormwater and Transportation Systems

dMIST: Data-Driven Management for Independant Stormwater and Transportation Systems

RISE coordinates the use of the city of Norfolk as a test bed for the National Science Foundation-funded dMIST project led by the University of Virginia. dMIST will develop a system to assist municipal decision makers and stakeholders in day-to-day operations to mitigate the short-term impacts of road flooding. It will also offer decision makers novel ways of testing “what if” scenarios that stretch across interdependent infrastructure systems in order to guide how large investments are used to adapt infrastructure systems to a more resilient future state. Learn More