US Ignite Launches the US Ignite Forum

Nick Maynard_blog_image Nick Maynard February 27, 2018

2018_Ribbon_Office_360x203(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by Nick Maynard, partner Chief Strategy Officer of US Ignite. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to smart city deployments,” says Danielle DuMerer, Chief Information Officer for the city of Chicago.

CLICK TO TWEET: US Ignite is working to make sure that municipal leaders can learn from one another about smart cities. Nick Maynard explains in this guest blog.

With that in mind, the US Ignite Forum enters the picture to help city officials and corporate entities alike game plan ways to implement solutions to today’s challenges in smarter, connected ways—with help from DuMerer and Chicago, who will kick off the first of six US Ignite Forums of 2018.

On February 27 in Chicago, we are launching the US Ignite Forum with our founding corporate partners AT&T, Cisco, CommScope, Crown Castle, Intel, Interdigital, and Juniper Networks along with operational support from Current by GE and Deloitte. The Forum establishes an avenue for municipal leaders and their project partners to share information about city-wide deployments in their communities.

As we aim to strengthen the partnerships between governments, researchers, and industry leaders, we see the US Ignite Forum as an opportunity to bring all these minds together to share approaches and discuss workable solutions. Each Forum will be dedicated to a specific topic on smart city deployments; a previous Forum covered Smart Lighting, while Chicago is tackling Wireless Deployments.

It is a natural extension of the work we already do with both our government and industry partners to develop resources that enable the growth of smart cities around the country—and globe. With each Forum, we’ll release a corresponding “playbook,” giving everyone access to the solutions discussed.

One Forum is already in the books—a gathering in San Diego in December 2017 focused on the city’s successful Smart Lighting deployment technology that is expected to save the City of San Diego $2.8 million a year while creating a network of more than 3,000 smart nodes that will enable new an array of advanced applications related to transportation, public safety, and more. In Chicago and at five other workshops slated for 2018, we’re giving leaders from smart communities around the country the opportunity to share approaches to advance wireless deployments in their communities and come away with clear-cut plans for how to move forward.

“I have the chance to better understand how a successful project from another city might be replicated in my own,” Chicago’s DuMerer expresses.

Smart city deployments aren’t happening in a vacuum, and US Ignite is working to make sure that municipal leaders can learn from one another. The result of the exchanges facilitated through the US Ignite Forum: more cities issuing more Request for Proposals (RFPs), Request for Information (RFIs), and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) related to at-scale smart city deployments. US Ignite Forums are just one step as we aim to connect the dots and make the world a more connected place.

To learn more about the US Ignite Forum and access US Ignite Forum resources, please visit the US Ignite Forum Webpage.

About the Author

Nick Maynard_blog_image

Nick Maynard

Nick Maynard is Chief Strategy Officer of US Ignite, where he is responsible for designing and executing the organization’s growth strategy.


Prior to US Ignite, Nick was a Program Director at the National Science Foundation, where he launched a $450 million initiative on advanced wireless research. He was also the Assistant Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he managed federal IT R&D portfolio, launching both a $610 million photonics foundry as well as the President’s ConnectHome program to bring broadband to underserved students. Previously, Nick was a member of the National Broadband Taskforce at the FCC, where he created a public-private partnership to offer technology training to small businesses in low-income communities. Nick also spent six years in the telecom industry, consulting with leading global carriers and vendors on next-gen networks and services.


Nick received his BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Public Policy PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation research on national ICT adoption strategies was supported by a National Science Foundation grant.