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Flint's Kettering University - a Mott grantee- played a key role in bringing Ignite to Genesee County and will be the initiative's lead partner in Flint. 

-- Charles Stewart Mott Foundation


US Ignite Goals

  • Foster the creation of 60 next-generation applications, built specifically to take advantage of ultra-fast  networks, by working with sponsors and partners to enable application hackdays, competitions, and conferences, as well as an ongoing collaborative community.
  • Provide 200 community test beds for testing and deploying next-gen applications by coordinating the deployment of new infrastructure of Ignite’s partners – including telcos, cable companies, municipalities, research and education network operators, and others.
  • Provide a forum for coordination and best-practice sharing among industry, foundations, government, telecommunications carriers, research and education networks, cities and regions, researchers, venture capitalists, and software developers.


See what other communities have done.

Kettering University to Ignite the Next Generation of Internet Applications


A new public-private effort, the US Ignite Partnership, is being launched at the White House to capitalize on what is possible through virtualized, ultra-fast broadband networks, and “ignite” the development of next generation of internet applications and services for societal benefit. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Kettering University are part of this exciting new initiative.


The Mott Foundation has provided US Ignite with a planning grant to help kickstart the non-profit partnership, and has helped engage other national and local partners to bring the benefits of US Ignite to its hometown, Flint, Mich. Mott believes US Ignite has the potential to help people improve their lives and their communities and enhance the work of Flint partners, including Kettering University, in the areas of clean energy, advanced manufacturing, and education, as well as the development of local workforce training activities that can help people overcome barriers to the labor market. Ultimately, the foundation seeks to leverage its investment in Ignite, along with the passion and energy of local partners, to help open new doors  to opportunity in Flint and beyond.

 Kettering President Robert K. McMahan said US Ignite will bring the fastest broadband research network in the world to Flint and the region. “This is a community asset,” he explained. “We’ll be one of only 25 cities with this technological capability. We’ll be one of the few places in the country with this next-generation technology. It will give Flint a tremendous lead to be in the first wave.”

The primary goal of the US Ignite Partnership will be to catalyze approximately 60 advanced, next-gen applications over the next five years in six areas of national priority: education and workforce development, advanced manufacturing, health, transportation, public safety, and clean energy. Responsibilities of the Partnership will include connecting, convening, and supporting startups, local and state government,  universities, industry leaders, federal agencies, foundations, and community and carrier initiatives in conceptualizing and building new applications.  The resulting new applications should have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, including providing a broad range of job and investment opportunities.

Founding Partners and Sponsors

The advanced technologies that will power the US Ignite initiative have been developed through the National Science Foundation’s GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovation) program and by US Ignite’s commercial partners.  Flexibility is provided through the use of Software-Defined Networking.  Speed is  provided by symmetric ultra-fast connections.  And “GENI Racks” power the low-latency, programmable local cloud capabilities available to US Ignite applications.  “The combination of these three factors changes the game for applications developers,” said US Ignite Chief Technology Officer Glenn Ricart.  
The Partnership has already entered into agreements that will bring its efforts to 60 research universities and 25 cities across the country, including small, medium and large municipalities. Additionally, there are over 15 commercial partners who have agreed to be part of the US Ignite Partnership, including telecommunications and network  powerhouses alongside local single-community efforts. 

Key Players

  • National Science Foundation - NSF
  • GENI - Global Environment Network
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • US Ignite Partnership

Next Gen Network Universities

Kettering University joins:

  • Clemson
  • Colorado
  • Columbia
  • Georgia Tech
  • Indiana
  • Princeton
  • Kansas State
  • NYU
  • Rutgers
  • Stanford
  • UCLA
  • UMass Amherst
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin



  • Software Defined Networking & Virtualization of Networks
  • Local Cloud Resources
  • Gigabit to End-Users
   Kettering University's involvement will advance:
  • Global Distance Education
  • Clean Energy
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Workforce Training

For more about the benefits, see US Ignite Technologies & Benefits.