Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund: Supporting Local Innovation in Chattanooga and Kansas City.


Exploring the potential of advanced networks

Today we’re proud to announce the launch of the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund—a project in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and US Ignite, that will support local innovators in Chattanooga and Kansas City as they build real-life open source applications for gigabit networks.

The Fund will help transform these cities into “living laboratories” for experimentation and development of public benefit uses for gigabit technologies. Mozilla will establish Hive Learning Communities in Chattanooga and Kansas City, similar to its Hive Learning Networks in NYC, Chicago, Toronto and Pittsburgh, where organizations collaborate around shared goals in digital learning and making, and economic opportunities.

The Gigabit Community Fund follows the Mozilla Ignite Apps Challenge program, which supported 22 teams working on gigabit app prototypes across the country. The new $300,000 fund aims to bring discoveries out of the lab and into the field to help move prototypes to Minimum Viable Pilots and get tools in the hands of users. In each city, two, 12-week pilot periods will run, with up to 10 projects receiving awards between $5,000 and $30,000.

“Gigabit networks have the potential to change how we live, work, learn and interact on the web, much like the the switch from dial-up to broadband did,” says Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla. “The educators, developers, students and other inventive thinkers in these leading gigabit economies have a unique opportunity to help shape the web of the future, in ways that can help us all know more, do more and do better.”

The Fund will support applications that are rooted in the local community, and that are pragmatic, deployable in the near term, have measurable impact, and are re-usable and shareable with others.

The official announcements are being made at kick-off events in both cities: today in Chattanooga and on Feb. 13 in Kansas City. At each event, representatives from Mozilla, NSF and the Department of Education will be joined by city mayors and other local organizations to learn about the program and begin to formulate potential collaborations and projects.

How to get involved: