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Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering

NSF/Intel Partnership on Cyber-Physical Systems Security and Privacy  (CPS-Security)

Name Email Phone Room
David  Corman (703) 292-8754   
Jeremy  Epstein (703) 292-8950   
Angelos  D. Keromytis (703) 292-8061   
Ralph  Wachter (703) 292-8950   


Solicitation  14-571

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable function of critical infrastructure. An already-large and rapidly growing part of this infrastructure is being advanced through the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT), leading to cyber-physical systems (CPS). Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, 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 food and agriculture, energy, different modes of transportation including air and automobiles, building design and automation, healthcare and medical implants, and advanced manufacturing.

Cyber-physical systems are subject to threats stemming from increasing reliance on computer and communication technologies. Cybersecurity threats exploit the increased complexity and connectivity of critical infrastructure systems, placing the Nation’s security, economy, public safety, and health at risk.

The goal of this partnership between NSF and Intel is to foster novel, transformative, multidisciplinary approaches that ensure the security of current and emerging cyber-physical systems, taking into consideration the unique challenges present in this environment relative to other domains with cybersecurity concerns. These challenges arise from the non-reversible nature of the interactions of CPS with the physical world; the scale of deployment; the federated nature of several infrastructures; the deep embedding and long projected lifetimes of CPS components; the interaction of CPS with users at different scales, degrees of control, and expertise levels; the economic and policy constraints under which such systems must often operate; and sensing and collection of information related to a large spectrum of everyday human activities. Historically, reliance on subtle assumptions at interface boundaries between hardware components, between hardware and software components, and between software components, as well as between a system and its operators and maintainers, has been a source of vulnerability and can be especially troublesome in these critical systems.

Specifically, this solicitation aims to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education at the confluence of cybersecurity, privacy, and cyber-physical systems, and to transitioning its findings into engineering practice. To achieve these goals, NSF and Intel will together host an Ideas Lab to identify and develop novel ideas at the intersection of cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, and privacy, and assist in the establishment of research partnerships. Concepts from the Ideas Lab can be submitted in response to this solicitation as (a) NSF/Intel Synergy projects, which must offer a significant advance in the science, engineering, and/or technology of protecting cyber-physical systems, taking into consideration the broader policy, economic, and socio-technical environment in which these systems operate; or (b) NSF Breakthrough projects, which seek to make more targeted, narrowly focused advances in science, engineering, and/or technology of protecting cyber-physical systems while at the same time fostering the creation and development of a CPS security and privacy research community. Participation in the Ideas Lab is not a prerequisite for submitting a Synergy or Breakthrough project proposal.

This NSF/Intel partnership combines CISE’s experience in developing and managing successful large, diverse research portfolios with Intel’s long history of building research communities in emerging technology areas through programs such as its Science and Technology Centers Program.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program