Lafayette Joins Nationwide Tech Effort

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Greater Lafayette Commerce has joined a public-private partnership designed to spur development of next generation Internet applications. US Ignite, launched last year by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will connect Lafayette with technology resources from 25 other member communities.

July 29, 2013

News Release

Lafayette, Ind. -- Greater Lafayette is now one of just 26

communities nationwide, most of them large metropolitan areas, affiliated with US Ignite, a public/ private partnership launched a year ago by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

US Ignite encourages development of applications for the next generation of the Internet by providing resources and linking partner communities. It has been widely hailed as a unique, far-reaching opportunity for communities interested in advancing their technology economy.

Greater Lafayette Commerce joined on behalf of the community, the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County.

"This affiliation gives our community a technological edge and incredible

benefits," said Joseph Seaman, Greater Lafayette Commerce president and chief executive officer. "It didn't just happen, we had to prove we had the capabilities, the talent and the interest."

Lafayette-based Wintek Corp., an Internet service provider that operates an active Ethernet network and builds fiber to the end customer, assisted by assuring US Ignite that Greater Lafayette met the criteria.

"Wintek provided documentation attesting that our community has what it takes to develop and deploy next-generation applications," said Oliver Beers, Wintek chief operating officer. "Signing on with US Ignite is a huge step in putting Greater Lafayette on the technology map, in showcasing efforts under way here, and in furthering our community's standing as one that is ready to move forward rapidly."

Linking with US Ignite gives the community access to the latest

technological trends and new applications from other US Ignite communities that involve next-generation technologies, Seaman said. "Through this partnership, we will learn about best practices and how they might boost our own economic development efforts and increase jobs. We'll have access to test beds for new applications, and we'll be able to share local developments with other communities."

Greater Lafayette Commerce's Hometown 2 Hometown (www.hometown2hometown.com) website, an interactive site highlighting the community, was a key factor in the community's qualifying for US Ignite.

"With Hometown 2 Hometown, we were able to show we're already in the lineup, we're already creating applications for that next generation of the Internet," said Pat Corey, executive director of resource development at Ivy Tech Community College - Lafayette. She conceived and oversaw development of the application.

"Hometown 2 Hometown already is a killer application for big broadband, and with the tele-presence capability that will come with the next generation of the Internet, it's going to be even more spectacular."

Other specific local opportunities will depend on projects various

developers create. US Ignite membership fits well with work underway at numerous local high-tech firms, Seaman said.

"Joining US Ignite is a thumbs-up for the pending opening of MatchBOX

Coworking Studio in downtown Lafayette and for others locally who are

working in cutting-edge technology areas," Seaman said. "It also will add to our attractiveness to businesses seeking a technology-savvy location. They'll find it right here in Greater Lafayette."

Purdue University joined US Ignite in 2011, and its involvement has included participating in an application competition and presenting at the US Ignite Application Summit in Chicago this summer, said George Adams, deputy director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

"We demonstrated remote monitoring and control of printers that manufacture objects," Adams said. "When remote control of specialized manufacturing, medical and other equipment is possible, innovators in Indiana will have increased ability to create exceptionally successful new products. One example might be operation of a surgical robot."

Lafayette community members also attended the summit. They included Corey from Ivy Tech and Dennis Carson, economic development director for the city of Lafayette. Meeting other development teams, researchers and corporate partners was beneficial for launching efforts in Greater Lafayette, Corey said.

About US Ignite. A public/private partnership of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, US Ignite (www.us-ignite.org) encourages development of Internet applications with transformative public benefits for healthcare, education, safety, employee training, manufacturing and other areas.

About Greater Lafayette Commerce. Headquartered at 337 Columbia St. in Lafayette, Greater Lafayette Commerce (www.greaterlafayettecommerce.com), whose roots go back more than 85 years, is a nonprofit membership organization supported by local businesses, industries and governments. Its mission is to advance economic and community prosperity for a superior quality of life.

Source: Greater Lafayette Commerce