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us-ignite-logo.png.300x0_q85On September 14, 2015 the National Science Foundation awarded a $6 million grant to U.S. Ignite to build a living lab of testbeds for smart gigabit applications in fifteen cities throughout the country including Salt Lake City and Provo. The grant is designed to aid in increasing the number of communities in the U.S. that will participate in a “smart city app store” for “next-generation Internet application prototypes that leverage gigabit speeds to achieve transformative impact in areas ranging from health care to public safety.”

US Ignite Press Release

Click here to read the NSF press release.

The project, Sustainable Ecosystem of Smart Applications, will span three years and focus on collecting researchers, citizens, community organizations, technology companies, entrepreneurs, academics and federal, state, and local governments to build the next generation of the Internet in the United States. The grant also incorporates the Mozilla Foundation who will be working with U.S. Ignite to create these “living labs.”

The grantees hope to create testbeds where high-speed app development can take place and find direct use in the public sphere. “Building a critical mass of communities with next-generation Internet capabilities will have ripple effects: if networks are fast, reliable and widely available, companies produce more capable applications to run on those networks, which in turn brings new users online and increases use among those who already subscribe to broadband services,” said William Wallace, Executive Director of U.S. Ignite.

The fifteen communities are:

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Provo, UT
  • Burlington, VT
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Flint, MI
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Madison, WI
  • The North Carolina Next Generation Network
  • Richardson, TX
  • Lafayette, LA
  • Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Austin, TX

The news came as part of a larger address from the Obama Administration announcing the “Smart Cities” Initiative to help communities tackle local challenges and improve city services. “Every community is different…but communities that are making the most progress on [broadband] issues have some things in common,” said President Obama. Those common things are collaboration and planning with local governments, nonprofits, and community leaders both public and private.

U.S. Ignite is a public-private non-profit organization which fosters the creation of next-generation Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit. By engaging diverse public and private leaders, the organization “ignites” the development and deployment of new apps with profound impact on how Americans work, live, learn and play.

Click here to read more about the NSF grant.

Click here to learn more about U.S. Ignite.

Click here to read the full White House fact sheet on the Smart Cities Initiative.