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A Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing (2015-)

The White House/OSTP has announced A Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing on brain like computing with participation from five agencies including NSF: "Create a new type of computer that can proactively interpret and learn from data, solve unfamiliar problems using what it has learned, and operate with the energy efficiency of the human brain."

NSF will be exploring where the most exciting opportunities are and what transdisciplinary, collaborative research is needed from across NSF's multiple directorates. The directorates for Engineering (ENG), Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS), and Biological Sciences (BIO) will conduct research to develop new concepts, devices architectures, and software to explore and eventually enable novel solutions for brain-like computing. Ongoing programs include Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices in ENG, Electronic and Photonic Materials in MPS, and Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems in CISE, ENG, and SBE. ENG and CISE will continue collaboration with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) in support of the Nanoelectronics Research initiative, which seeks to develop the next device that will propel computing beyond the limitations of current technology. Some of the problems associated with this challenge are highlighted in a 2015 report supported by NSF and sponsored by the Semiconductor Industry Association and SRC, Rebooting the IT Revolution.

This grand challenge that addresses three Administration priorities - the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), and the BRAIN initiative (see explanatory blog on the WH website