News & Events

US Ignite, Inc. Welcomes Eugene, Oregon as the Newest Addition to its Smart Gigabit Communities Program

November 29, 2017 -- Eugene, Ore. -- Today, US Ignite, Inc. announced that Eugene-Springfield, Oregon, is the newest participant in the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) program. US Ignite is a nonprofit that spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2015, US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program is creating “living lab” environments for the next generation of gigabit applications. Eugene joins 24 other national and international communities participating in the SGC program.

“We are thrilled to add Eugene-Springfield to the map of Smart Gigabit communities,” said Eugene Oregon Mayor Lucy Vinis. “Our expanding gigabit capacity and amazing community partners have made this possible -  supporting and championing local innovations and new gigabit applications for education, healthcare,  transportation and advanced manufacturing. Joining the Smart Gigabit Communities Program allows us to foster and accelerate all of these efforts and support our next generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, and educators.”

“Eugene-Springfield is a region known for its partnerships in support of research and innovation. We have always been a place where the pioneering spirit is strong and where great ideas are tested and grown. We look forward to bringing our thriving community’s energy to this new partnership with US Ignite, expanding on this incredible opportunity.” said Springfield Oregon Mayor Christine Lundberg.  

Smart Gigabit Communities is a collaboration among US Ignite, universities, municipalities, community anchor institutions like hospitals and schools, nonprofits, network carriers and ISPs.  These organizations are focused on developing smart gigabit applications to address local community needs, such as education, workforce development, public safety, community health, smart energy, and transportation.

Recent smart gigabit applications have included an application enabling multi-modal transit planning by connecting bus, car sharing, bike sharing, and other forms of transportation that would otherwise be disconnected.

Each member of the program has committed to develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services per year which provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community. They also agree to share those applications with others in the SGC program.

“In greater Eugene, we are already seeing local innovators develop some pretty amazing technologies that leverage our region's world class gigabit Internet. In my added role as the region’s US Ignite Technical Lead, we will work to bring those innovators together and accelerate technological advancement through partnerships with Smart Gigabit Communities around the country. Ultimately the goal is to improve the lives of the people who live here” said Matt Sayre, Director of the Technology Association of Oregon.

Eugene-Springfield boasts an impressive wealth of tech talent, fueled by two major universities 50 miles apart. One of them, the University of Oregon, last year announced the construction of the $1 billion Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. The campus is made possible by a $500 million lead gift from the Knights and supported with $50 million in state bonds.

“The UO’s Knight Campus will fast-track scientific discoveries into innovations and expand our capacity to develop world class talent. In addition to staff and top-tier scientists, the campus will be home to significant numbers of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers,” said Joe Sventek, who heads the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Oregon.

Eugene, a Mozilla Gigabit City, will provide an instant synergy to US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities ecosystem, as the community has a proven track record of collaboration.​ ​RAIN​ ​Eugene​ ​is​ ​also a​ ​key​ ​asset​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ecosystem​ ​and​ ​represents​ ​a​ ​network connecting​ ​the​ ​University of Oregon,​ ​entrepreneurs,​ ​the​ ​regional​ ​Workforce​ ​Board,​ ​investors,​ and ​local​ ​governments. The Eugene community has expressed interest in furthering its smart city and transportation initiatives, leaning into gigabit internet infrastructure to provide transformative public benefit.

Joe Maruschak, Executive Director of RAIN Eugene said, “The growth of Eugene has been awesome, but with growth we could get the classic challenges that are associated with growth.  By becoming a smart city, we can leverage technology to ahead of some of the challenges, including transportation and housing.  Being smart about how we address these issues as a city will ensure that we can see this growth benefit all of our citizens.”

“We are thrilled to have Eugene-Springfield join our network of Smart Gigabit Communities,” said William Wallace, Executive Director of US Ignite. “The community’s existing passion for advanced technology paired with the proximity to two major universities will no doubt be assets to our network.”

Eugene and Springfield Oregon, US Ignite successful applicant team. Photo Credit Athena Delene

About US Ignite, Inc.

US Ignite, Inc. spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. The nonprofit organization helps to accelerate new wired and wireless networking advances from research to prototype to full-scale smart community and interconnected national deployments. US Ignite, Inc.’s Smart Gigabit Communities program accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks. US Ignite, Inc., together with Northeastern University, also now operates the National Science Foundation-funded Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office (PPO), coordinating a $100 million public-private partnership of federal agencies and over 30 leading companies and technology associations supporting the deployment of wireless research platforms in multiple communities across the United States. Together, these collaborative efforts among research universities, local communities and industry will yield breakthroughs in new wired and wireless networking technology. The applications and services that result from this work will help enrich residents’ lives while generating improved, potentially transformative, community services, investment in high-growth startups, and high-skilled jobs.


Media Contact:

Caitlin Scott
Full Court Press Communications
[email protected]