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Credit: Douglas Pancoast & Satya Mark Basu, School of the Art Institute of Chicago/Array of Things

Smart & Connected Communities: A Vision for the 21st Century

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has long been a leader in advancing the fundamental science and engineering research and education that will revolutionize our Nation's cities and communities for the mid-21st century. NSF's Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) program aims to leverage research activities at colleges and universities across the US, in close collaboration with local cities and communities as well as industry, to enable cities and communities to bring about new levels of economic prosperity, jobs, and security, consistent with the National R&D Priority Areas.

The NSF S&CC program is carrying out this goal through support of integrative sociotechnical research that brings together computer and information scientists; engineers; social, behavioral and economic scientists; and learning scientists. These research teams are working collaboratively with communities to transform a broad range of sectors--agriculture, civil infrastructure, emergency management, energy including the smart electric power grid, health, manufacturing, public safety, rural and urban planning, transportation, water management, and many others. In its first year of funding in fiscal year (FY) 2017, the S&CC program awarded $19.5 million to support 38 projects involving researchers at 34 lead institutions across the Nation.

The NSF S&CC program includes participation from the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE). To further promote this approach of integrative research paired with meaningful community engagement, the S&CC program is working to build new and expanded partnerships with agencies across the Federal government, industry, and international funding agencies.

The information below summarizes the S&CC activities at NSF and the broader efforts across the Federal government.

NSF Research Programs and Funding Opportunities

Recent Awards

NSF-Sponsored Workshops

NSF News

  • Press Release 17-102: NSF announces $19.5M in awards to support fundamental research to advance the nation's local cities and communities - First-ever awards through Smart & Connected Communities program seek to address transportation, infrastructure, health and other rural and urban challenges
  • Press Release 16-113: NSF commits more than $60 million to Smart Cities Initiative - Agency-wide effort to further science, engineering and education will address challenges in cities and communities nationwide
  • Press Release 15-103: Cultivating smart and connected communities - NSF exhibits commitments in support of White House Smart Cities Initiative
  • Press Release 15-105: Laying the foundation for smart and connected cities and communities - NSF issues 12 new awards in support of the Global City Teams Challenge
  • Press Release 15-107: Gigabit application prototypes to help cities and communities serve citizens better - NSF awards nearly $12 million to expand innovation ecosystem for next-generation Internet applications
  • Press Release 15-106: NSF invests $10 million in smart, human-centered service systems - Awards to spur innovation for smart health, manufacturing, and infrastructure
  • Press Release 15-104: NSF supports urban-scale instrument to measure city's fitness - $3 million grant to the University of Chicago will prototype smart city technology
  • Press Release 15-096: A partnership to secure and protect the emerging Internet of Things - National Science Foundation and Intel Corporation team to improve the security and privacy of computing systems that interact with the physical world using a new cooperative research model
  • Press Release 15-108: NSF invests $20 million to enhance resilience of critical infrastructure - Infrastructure must outsmart disruptions to continue delivery of essential goods and services

Federal strategy and resources