Announcing Request for Proposals from the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research Project Office

August 1, 2018

The Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) Project Office (PPO) has released a second Request for Proposals (RFP) to design, deploy, and operate city-scale research platforms to advance wireless communications and technology.  Preliminary proposals are required and must be submitted by September 28, 2018 to

The PPO is funded by NSF and led by US Ignite, Inc., and Northeastern University, to oversee the design, development, deployment, and initial operations of platforms for advanced wireless research.  This effort is supported by $100 million – including $50 million from NSF and $50 million in cash and in-kind contributions from an industry consortium, which comprises 28 leading wireless companies and trade associations.

This RFP adds to the two wireless testbeds announced earlier this year – in New York City and Salt Lake City.  The PPO will select up to two new proposals pursuant to this latest RFP, towards the goal of establishing four advanced research platforms.  Academic and industry researchers will use these platforms to explore the development of new wireless hardware, communications techniques, and networking architectures, as well as new types of services enabled by these networks.

The second RFP for PAWR is broadly similar to the first, but adds a distinction in focus. In this round, there is greater emphasis on vertical use cases for advanced wireless technologies, including but not limited to research in the areas of smart agriculture, transportation, energy, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and public safety.

“We are in many ways creating a city-scale laboratory,” said Erwin Gianchandani, Deputy Assistant Director at NSF for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. “With its focus on fundamental, pre-commercial research, and combining civic aims with networking innovation, PAWR offers an unprecedented opportunity to impact people’s daily lives, community well-being, and the nation’s economy.”

This effort is part of NSF’s strategy to sustain U.S. leadership in wireless communications and technology – vital to our Nation’s economic competitiveness and long-term growth and development – for the next decade and beyond. 

To learn more about the PPO and this opportunity, see:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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