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WiGiT collaboration expands with addition of new partners

January 31, 2011

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

The Seneca Nation of Indians, City College of New York (CCNY), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and BOCES Rockland County have joined WiGiT: The Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed, a National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) project headed up by Syracuse University School of Information Studies Professor Lee McKnight and Tamal Bose of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The addition of these new partners was announced during a Jan. 28 WiGiT meeting at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems.

“I am so pleased that we have teamed up with the Seneca Nation of Indians and are in dialogue with other tribal organizations, as well as universities such as RIT and City College of New York, and schools for students with disabilities,” says SU Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bruce Kingma. “This kind of collaboration exemplifies Syracuse University’s commitment to Scholarship in Action and to the inclusion of many cultures and views in world-class research, education and innovation.”

The WiGiT project will assist in refining transformative technologies to create markets, bridge the gap between wireless network middleware and grid application layers, and accelerate the commercialization and adoption of new products and services.

“We are happy to assist in developing a new economic sector using wireless grids through definition of open specifications and shared exploration of novel applications developed by students, faculty and companies,” says McKnight, the project’s principal investigator.

During the seventh and most recent WiGiT meeting, keynote speaker Bob Frankston, the co-inventor of electronic spreadsheets and co-developer of home networking, referenced the impact of the WiGiT project during his speech, “Towards Ambient Connectivity.” “For ambient connectivity, WiGiT is a meta-thing,” he says.

John Andrews, CEO of WiGiT’s founding partner Wireless Grids Corp., welcomed all the new members. “We look forward to many more organizations joining us in creating the wireless grid future through our collaborative efforts,” he says. “Driving these key technologies to widely accepted industry standards has always been part of WGC’s mission, and we are pleased by WiGiT’s progress in enlisting more supporters of our emerging open specifications.”

The new collaborators on the project hope to use the wireless grid testbed for a variety of projects, ranging from academic curriculum support to network resources for entrepreneurs. “We believe the WiGiT project offers an excellent opportunity for collaboration among our music and content-area teachers to support curriculum integration,” says Catherine Bonet, principal of River View High School, Rockland BOCES in West Nyack, N.Y. “We also believe that this collaboration and curriculum integration will provide a motivating environment for our students to use their passion for music as a springboard for inquiry-based research in the content areas.”

RIT’s faculty has expertise in sensor networks and assists aspiring student entrepreneurs and provides resources for startup ventures. “I am delighted RIT has joined WiGiT to explore research and education opportunities for faculty and student collaboration across campuses, and across nations, on such critical topics as neighborhood notification systems and neighborhood area networks,” says Donald Boyd, RIT vice president for research.

WiGiT collaborator and CCNY professor Myung Lee hopes by pooling his school’s resources and expertise in wireless sensor networks, wireless mesh networks and mobile ad hoc networks, the research team can find greater success. “The research areas at the CCNY significantly overlap with WiGiT’s areas of interest,” Lee says. “We believe this collaboration will be mutually beneficial.”

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