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White House seeking advice on spurring student-led innovation around broadband

Monday, March 29, 2010

From the Office of Science and Technology Policy:
Now is the time to launch an initiative that would cultivate, with student involvement, such a wave of innovation (for broadband networks). Although it’s impossible to predict what the next generation of applications will be, universities, companies, and students could work together under such an initiative, which would serve as a sort of “Petri dish” where new ideas could incubate and grow. This initiative could be led by the private sector, encourage multi-campus and even global collaboration, build on investments already made in high-speed research networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail, and take advantage of a growing number of grants from the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The initiative could have a number of elements, including:

• Campus-based incubators for the development of broadband applications, with access to high-speed networks, cutting-edge peripherals, software development kits, and cloud computing services.

• Relevant courses that encourage multidisciplinary teams of students to design and develop broadband applications.

• Competitions that recognize compelling applications developed by students. Some existing competitions that could serve as models include Google’s Android Developer Challenge, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, and the FCC-Knight Foundation’s “Apps for Inclusion” competition.

Let us know what you think of this idea. You can send us e-mail at broadband@ostp.gov.


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