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Lafayette wins award to promote replication of successful smart, connected community applications

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jan 24, 2020

The City of Lafayette will receive grants to expand deployment of successful applications covering virtual reality emergency response training, interactive bioscience education, and regional connectivity platform development.


WASHINGTON, D.C. - US Ignite is pleased to announce that four community partners will receive substantial awards to expand the geographic deployments of successful applications and services developed as part of the National Science Foundation- funded Smart Gigabit Communities project. Those grant awards will go to teams in Austin, Texas; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Eugene, Ore.; and Lafayette, La.

In 2020, US Ignite is launching a new Replicating Success initiative to take advantage of the network effect of the Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) project and provide focused assistance and funding for the sustainable expansion of successful smart and connected community applications. After soliciting proposals from SGC partner communities, US Ignite selected four winning submissions based on criteria including demonstrable social impact, use of advanced technology, and the pre-commercial status of a proposed application or service.

"For three years, the NSF-funded SGC project has focused on the design and development of novel, leading-edge, smart and connected community projects with our SGC partners," said Smart Gigabit Communities Lead Researcher Glenn Ricart. "With this new component, we'll support the replication of the best of the best of these applications, showing how they can deliver benefit at scale, and transition to sustainable deployments that boost innovation, economic development, and quality of life."

The Replicating Success awards were made based on reviews of proposals received in response to a public US Ignite funding announcement. The US Ignite awardees include:

Austin, Texas

Startup organization Augmented Training Systems will extend the use of a virtual reality Mass Casualty Incident training system from Austin to other large urban areas in Texas. The tool is based on EMS industry-standard START (Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment) protocol and allows emergency responders to train for mass casualty events with 3D avatars in a simulated environment.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

In collaboration with Hamilton County Schools, the city of Chattanooga will expand a program using 4K microscopes and remote instrumentation capabilities to five new schools and two new communities in the SGC network: Jackson, Tenn. and Lafayette, La. The program will provide immersive experiences to students not possible without advanced networking, and include real-time collaboration across these schools, allowing students from the original host site to serve as lab assistants and contribute with their teachers and peers to the STEM curriculum.

Eugene, Oregon

The Technology Association of Oregon will deploy a Digital Town Square (a resilient, local interconnection point) to reduce application latency and increase civic digital resiliency in the cities of Eugene and Springfield. Specific applications expected to benefit include seismic monitoring for earthquake alerts, new regional multimedia coding classes, digital platforms for countywide community engagement, and more.

Lafayette, Louisiana

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the local Lafayette city government will collaborate on a Louisiana Smart Community Cloud Platform that migrates an existing system of hardware and software developed for research purposes to a regional platform that provides for high bandwidth/low latency community application access. The Community Cloud will easily extend to nearby regions and major cloud providers. Among the applications supported by this are the Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN), the NIMSAT Business Emergency Operations Center, the LA Flood Modeling Project, and more.

"Over the last several years, the National Science Foundation has invested in fundamental research that is enabling smart and connected communities throughout the U.S., including identifying pathways for scaling and sustaining the results that are emerging," said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF's Acting Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. "We look forward to seeing how US Ignite's Smart Gigabit Communities project will further NSF's objectives in collaboration with their community partners in Austin, Chattanooga, Eugene, and Lafayette."

About Smart Gigabit Communities

Through the National Science Foundation-funded Smart Gigabit Communities project - which now includes more than 30 community members and a growing number of corporate sponsors - US Ignite leverages advanced networking and data science technologies to drive key civic outcomes. These include the development of innovative new community applications and services, the creation of new jobs supporting healthy economic growth, and targeted investment in startup ecosystems and innovation zones.

The SGC project is supported by NSF Smart and Connected Communities award 1531046.

About US Ignite

US Ignite is a non‐profit organization accelerating the smart community movement by guiding communities into the connected future, creating a path for private sector growth, and advancing technology research that's at the heart of smarter development. Follow US Ignite on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

About NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. The people and basic research supported by NSF enhances the nation's security, advances knowledge to sustain global leadership, and is a primary driver of the U.S. economy.