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UCM-Lee’s Summit Joins Greater Kansas City MetroLab Partnership and Launches Gigabit Lab Program at Missouri Innovation Campus

By Jeff Murphy, September 17, 2018

Kansas City MetroLab Partnership

Aaron Deacon, left, managing director of KC Digital Drive, and Mike Godard, provost-chief learning officer for the University of Central Missouri, on Sept. 14 sign documents making possible UCM’s participation in the Greater Kansas City MetroLab Partnership and the launching of a new Gigabit Lab at The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) in Lee’s Summit.

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri has joined the Greater Kansas City MetroLab Partnership and launched a Gigabit Lab to help create gigabit applications in education, cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the healthcare industry.

The announcement about the lab was made in an agreement signing ceremony at The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) in Lee’s Summit Sept. 14. UCM is joining the MetroLab Network and area partners such as KC Digital Drive, Velocity Lee’s Summit and BridgeSpace co-working space to develop gigabit applications internally, and with innovation and technology entrepreneurs.

Located at the MIC, the UCM Gigabit Lab allows entrepreneurs/innovators/researchers in developing the next-generation products and services that take advantage of faster and more reliable networks. UCM will focus on products and services to educators and students, such as, Internet of Things Design Competition (create innovative solutions using Raspberry Pis and sensors), and in partnership with the developers of Gigabots (which bring real-time Internet connectivity to educational robotics platforms), so they can learn about the underlying technologies and applications and gain a critical understanding of this new technology.

The program is designed to work with growth-oriented companies and innovators to develop and market products primarily in the education, cyber, and healthcare areas. The focus will be on education, cyber security, Internet of Things, workforce, and healthcare applications that can be deployed to students and teachers in K-12 grades, and incorporated into UCM degree and certificate programs.

Gigabit Project
Jonathan Wagner, founder of Big Bang IO, LLC, demonstrates Gigabots, which are designed for K-12 students to explore robotics and Internet of Things applications, and will be part of the new Gigabit lab at The Missouri Innovation Campus. 

“UCM is excited about joining the gigabit and SMART city community to help develop and deploy new innovative applications in the education and programming industries,” said Joe Mullins, consultant with Workforce and Professional Development at UCM-Lee’s Summit. “UCM will be participating in the MetroLab Network and working with KC Digital Drive, and other organizations in the Kansas City area to continue developing and enhancing the program.”

Mullins added that this collaborative effort allows UCM to be involved in the Cisco Smart & Connected Communities initiative in Kansas City. This initiative is part of an effort to explore opportunities to create a city network that enhances citizen engagement, and includes development of a “living lab” in the city’s innovation district.

“The UCM Gigabit Lab will add to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lee’s Summit and Kansas City, bringing together startup and innovative companies working on new gigabit applications and services,” said Chuck Cooper, who represents Velocity Lee’s Summit.

Jonathan Wagner, founder of Big Bang IO, LLC, added, “We have been working with schools across the country to bring The Gigabots to K-12, so we are extremely excited to bring them to the KC Metro Area”

By joining the local MetroLab partnership and launching a Gigabit Lab, UCM is bringing real resources to the table in its ongoing efforts to make Kansas City a digital leader. Through the MetroLab, the university is able to help align its assets to help find solutions to problems faced by local governments.

“The Gigabit lab is a worthy addition to the network of partners in the community of gigabit cities we’ve been growing for the last seven years,” said Aaron Deacon, managing director or KC Digital Drive. “We are excited to see partners like UCM step up to lead in this way.”

Deacon signed the partnership agreement with Mike Godard, provost-chief learning officer at UCM.  Godard noted that through this initiative “UCM looks forward to working in support of educators, technologists, and community organizations who are developing technologies that are shaping the web. As we get data from Internet of Things devices and other Internet activity, we know that this will spur further research opportunities at UCM with regard to higher education, and with our K-12 schools and other partnerships that we have there.”
Learn more about the new Gigabit Lab Program at the MIC by contacting Joe Mullins at or 660-441-2861.


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