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Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

NSF and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have a shared interest in advancing basic and applied research in Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), which are systems in which physical processes are tightly intertwined with networked computing.  For those applying to this year's CPS solicitation, please see a recent NSF-FHWA Dear Colleague Letter...More

Important information for programs with deadline dates of January 14, 2013 or later:

  • If the program you are submitting to has a deadline date of January 14, 2013 or later, and you submit your proposal prior to this date, you must prepare your proposal in accordance with the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 13-1), which requires that the one-page Project Summary include 1) an overview; 2) a statement on intellectual merit of the proposed activity; and 3) a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activity. (See GPG, Chapter II.C.2b)
  • If you prepare your proposal prior to January 14, 2013, with the intention of submitting it on or after January 14, 2013, the information that you included in the Project Summary in FastLane will be inserted into the overview text box of the Project Summary.  Per PAPPG guidelines, you will need to include this information in the three text boxes (overview; statement on intellectual merit; statement on broader impacts) or FastLane will not accept your proposal. (See GPG, Chapter II.C.2b)

David Corman
dcorman@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8754
Room 1175

Radhakisan Baheti
rbaheti@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8339
Room 525

Theodore P. Baker
tbaker@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8608
Room 1175

Bruce Kramer
bkramer@nsf.gov, (703) 292-5348
Room 545

Bruce Hamilton
bhamilto@nsf.gov, (703) 292-7066
Room 565

Frank Olken
folken@nsf.gov, (703) 292-4767
Room 1125

Phillip Regalia
pregalia@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8910
Room 1115

Sylvia Spengler
sspengle@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8930
Room 1125

Kevin Thompson
kthompso@nsf.gov, (703) 292-4220
Room 1145

Ralph Wachter
rwachter@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8950
Room 1175

Solicitation 14-542

Important Notice to Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.

A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.

Full Proposal Window:  December 1, 2014 - December 15, 2014

December 1 - December 15, Annually Thereafter

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components. Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability that will far exceed the simple embedded systems of today. CPS technology will transform the way people interact with engineered systems -- just as the Internet has transformed the way people interact with information. New smart CPS will drive innovation and competition in sectors such as agriculture, energy, transportation, building design and automation, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The December 2010 report of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) titled Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology calls for continued investment in CPS research because of its scientific and technological importance as well as its potential impact on grand challenges in a number of sectors critical to U.S. security and competitiveness such as the ones noted above. These challenges and technology gaps are further described in a CPS Vision Statement published in 2012 by the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program's CPS Senior Steering Group.

Tremendous progress has been made in advancing CPS technology over the last five years. We have explored foundational technologies that have spanned an ever-growing set of application domains, enabling breakthrough achievements in many of these fields. At the same time, the demand for innovation in these domains continues to grow, and is driving the need to accelerate fundamental research to keep pace. 

Despite significant inroads into CPS technology in recent years, we do not yet have a mature science to support systems engineering of high-confidence CPS, and the consequences are profound. Traditional analysis tools are unable to cope with the full complexity of CPS or adequately predict system behavior. For example, minor events that trip the current electric power grid -- an ad hoc system -- can escalate with surprising speed into widespread power failures. This scenario exemplifies the lack of appropriate science and technology to conceptualize and design for the deep interdependencies among engineered systems and the natural world. The challenges and opportunities for CPS are thus significant and far-reaching. New relationships between the cyber and physical components require new architectural models that redefine form and function. They integrate the continuous and discrete, compounded by the uncertainty of open environments. Traditional real-time performance guarantees are insufficient for CPS when systems are large and spatially, temporally, or hierarchically distributed in configurations that may rapidly change. With the greater autonomy and cooperation possible with CPS, greater assurances of safety, security, scalability, and reliability are demanded, placing a high premium on open interfaces, modularity, interoperability, and verification.

The goal of the CPS program is to develop the core system science needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems upon which people can depend with high confidence. The program aims to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education in CPS and to transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering practice. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements across all application sectors. To expedite and accelerate the realization of cyber-physical systems in a wide range of applications, the CPS program also supports the development of methods, tools, and hardware and software components based upon these cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the principles via prototypes and testbeds.

In 2014, NSF is working closely with multiple agencies of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Homeland (DHS) Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and, through FHWA, U.S. DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO), to identify basic research needs in CPS common across multiple application domains, along with opportunities for accelerated transition to practice.

Three types of research and education projects -- differing in scope and goals -- will be considered through this solicitation:

  • Breakthrough projects must offer a significant advance in fundamental CPS science, engineering and/or technology that has the potential to change the field. This category focuses on new approaches to bridge computing, communication, and control. Funding for Breakthrough projects may be requested for a total of up to $500,000 for a period of up to 3 years.
  • Synergy projects must demonstrate innovation at the intersection of multiple disciplines, to accomplish a clear goal that requires an integrated perspective spanning the disciplines. Funding for Synergy projects may be requested for a total of $500,001 to $1,000,000 for a period of 3 to 4 years.
  • Frontier projects must address clearly identified critical CPS challenges that cannot be achieved by a set of smaller projects. Funding may be requested for a total of $1,000,001 to $7,000,000 for a period of 4 to 5 years.

CPS Program Webinar - April 3, 2014 - NSF 14-542 - Presentation and Transcript

Additional Funding Opportunities for the CCF Community
Additional Funding Opportunities for the CNS Community
Additional Funding Opportunities for the IIS Community

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