Columbus, Ohio – April 6, 2022 – Today, US Ignite welcomed five new and renewing communities to the flagship US Ignite Communities program, including Ames, Iowa; Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; and Washington, DC.
These five communities were formally recognized for their leadership in adopting innovative technologies to improve residents’ lives at the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo this week at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. By joining the US Ignite Communities program, these communities cement their commitment to advancing local economic growth and innovation. Through the partnership with US Ignite, they now benefit from technical assistance and capacity-building services, which will be put to work in expanding broadband access, designing and building smart community strategies, and strengthening partnerships across the public and private sectors.
"Today we celebrate the growth of our network and proudly recognize that this once grant-fueled program can now sustain itself and continue to deliver value to the smart city ecosystem." Lee Davenport, Director of Community Development at US Ignite
“The US Ignite Communities program began thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation in 2015. Today we celebrate the growth of our network and proudly recognize that this once grant-fueled program can now sustain itself and continue to deliver value to the smart city ecosystem,” said Lee Davenport, Director of Community Development at US Ignite.
Nearly 50 rural and urban communities across the United States, Canada, and Australia now make up the US Ignite Communities network. Through the program, communities access US Ignite’s experienced advice as they approach smart city and broadband adoption initiatives. Moreover, US Ignite offers guidance on funding opportunities and provides resources for project and policy implementation.
Greg Piklapp, Director, Community & Economic Development Outreach at the Ames Chamber & Economic Development commented, “The Ames region is committed to implementing cutting edge technologies and planning strategies. From utilizing adaptive traffic control systems (ATCS) to flood monitoring stations helping deal with climate changes, we are focused on planning for growth in the coming decades by working with our private, public, and academic resource partners. We are just starting to explore our US Ignite partnership, but the excitement is already building as we consider the potential we will unlock.
All US Ignite Communities contribute to a peer-led colloquium focused on using innovation to stimulate local economies via equitable and sustainable approaches. Sharing lessons learned among peers helps leaders better leverage resources to execute the successful adoption of technologies for their community.
“South Bend prides itself on being a Beta City that embraces new ideas,” said South Bend Mayor, James Mueller. “Partners like US Ignite help cities stay on the cutting edge. South Bend is looking forward to learning from other cities and embracing new technologies and public-private models.”
Additional information on US Ignite Communities can be found at us-ignite.org/program/usicommunities.
About US Ignite
US Ignite collaborates with smart communities and research testbeds to drive high-impact solutions to their toughest challenges. Operating like a high-tech startup, our organization delivers timely results by applying technical expertise, stakeholder engagement, and targeted tools. US Ignite works tirelessly to ensure our programs are effective and reach the communities that need them the most.