text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Engineering (ENG)
Engineering (ENG)
design element
ENG Home
About ENG
Funding Opportunities
Advisory Committee
Career Opportunities
See Additional ENG Resources
View ENG Staff
ENG Organizations
Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET)
Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)
Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)
Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Other Types of Proposals
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Additional ENG Resources
NSF National Nanotechnology Initiative
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page

NSF Launches an ERC for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN)

College of Optical Sciences, The University of Arizona

Ph.D. student Aytekin Ozdemir and CIAN Director Nasser Peyghambarian
Credit and Larger Version

September 22, 2008

NSF Launches an Engineering Research Center to Develop Fast, Flexible, and Affordable Communication Networks

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces an award to the University of Arizona and its partners to establish a new NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC): NSF ERC for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN). CIAN will develop interdisciplinary research and education programs that address an important societal need and provide the foundation for new industries through innovation. NSF will invest $18.5 million in the Center over the next five years.

Since 1985 the ERC program has fostered broad-based research and education collaborations in close partnership with industry that focus on making technological breakthroughs and developing new products and services. A new generation of five NSF ERCs will place a greater emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship and on international collaboration and cultural exchange.

"The Gen-3 ERCs have been designed to build on the well-developed understanding laid down by the two previous generations of ERCs," says Lynn Preston, the leader of the ERC Program. "We have added to Gen-3 ERCs several new dimensions designed to speed the innovation process and prepare engineering graduates who are innovative, creative, and understand how to function in a global economy where engineering talent is broadly distributed throughout the world. We expect these ERCs to make even more significant impacts on the competitiveness of U.S. industry than their predecessors."

CIAN will conduct research to create transformative technologies for optical access networks, at the edges of communication networks, that offer dramatically improved performance and expanded capabilities. An access network is the portion of a network between the end user and the core of the network, where optical fibers then transport information over long distances. CIAN seeks to develop new technologies for optical access networks by using integrated chip-based nanostructures, silicon nanophotonic devices, and new optical materials. These technologies will enable virtually any application (including those for multimedia streaming) in any location to seamlessly and efficiently interact with core networks in a cost-effective manner.

CIAN will be based at the University of Arizona and will have nine university partners in the U.S.:

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Stanford University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Southern California

Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel, and Helsinki University of Technology in Finland will contribute additional expertise and international perspectives.

More than 30 industry partners, which range from small start-up firms to Fortune 500 companies, will guide strategic planning, spur innovation, and provide university students with first-hand experience in entrepreneurship. CIAN will also work with two local organizations-the Arizona Center for Innovation and the Small Business Development Center at Pima Community College-to stimulate technology transfer.

Cecile J. Gonzalez, National Science Foundation, cjgonzal@nsf.gov

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, jchamot@nsf.gov
Jeff Harrison, University of Arizona, (520) 626-4386, jeffh@u.arizona.edu

Program Contacts
Lynn Preston, NSF, (703) 292-5358, lpreston@nsf.gov
Lawrence Goldberg, NSF, (703) 292-8339, lgoldber@nsf.gov

Principal Investigator
Nasser Peyghambarian, University of Arizona, (520) 621-4649, nnp@u.arizona.edu


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page