The I-70 Corridor Network idea was born in 2013, a spin off from the New Cities initiative at the University of Kansas that was established in 2010. New Cities investigates and advocates for changes to the built environment in response to the full-scale housing and social crisis brought on by the aging of the Baby Boomer Generation (77 million). This crisis is also already having measurable impacts on the following Generation X (72 million) and Millennial Generation (84 million) as well. See www.newcities.ku.edu.
The I-70 Corridor Network is a bold aspiration that brings together an interdisciplinary group of university researchers, teachers and professional partners (see Founding Members on this website) along the I-70 corridor from St. Louis, Missouri, to Manhattan, Kansas. By working together across multiple regional universities and across state lines, this group of people hopes to create inter-university research teams that can address aging questions more effectively and therefore more likely be funded by major governmental and private institutions. Other major goals of the network are to establish relationships between university faculty and industrial and commercial partners and to improve the teaching of gerontology through faculty exchanges and sharing. The founding institutions include the University of Kansas, Lawrence, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas State University, Washburn University of Topeka, the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Rockhurst University, the University of Missouri, Columbia, the University of Missouri, St. Louis, Washington University, and St. Louis University.
I-70 participants gathered for their first conference in November 2013 and expect to meet for a second time in November 2014. In between those two conferences a small group of core coordinators has met on a weekly basis in WebEx telephone conferences to develop the network and its technology and human systems.
The first meeting of the I-70 network was in Lawrence, Kansas, on November 7-8, 2013. This conference was sponsored by the RIC grant from the University of Kansas. Sixty participants from the 10 university units and 9 companies attended.