Federal CTO calls for ‘student-led innovation’ in developing broadband apps

Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer for the Obama administration, has posted a blog entry calling for a campus-based initiative to encourage broadband innovation by students. “Students have contributed some of the most important advances in information and communications technologies—including data compression, interactive computer graphics, Ethernet, Berkeley Unix, the spreadsheet, public key cryptography, speech recognition, Mosaic, and Google,” Chopra writes. “Today, with the right kind of support, students can play the role of innovators again—by leading the way in the development of broadband applications.” Chopra envisions universities, companies, and students working 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, … [building] on investments already made in high-speed research networks such as Internet2 and National LambdaRail, and [taking] advantage of a growing number of grants from the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program,” he writes. The initiative could have a number of elements, including campus-based incubator programs, courses that encourage multidisciplinary teams of students to develop broadband applications, and competitions that recognize compelling student-designed apps…

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