Rethinking NSF's Computational Ecosystem for 21st Century Science and Engineering

September 26, 2018

For nearly four decades, NSF has effectively supported the broad availability and innovative uses of leading edge computational resources to accelerate advances in science and engineering. These NSF investments have spanned discipline-specific instruments and facilities; computational systems of varying capabilities and architectures optimized for different applications; virtual organizations for allocating resources and interfacing with users; and network backbones connecting and providing access to these resources. Recent profound advances across science and engineering interests and priorities, as well as in enabling technologies, contribute to the current view of cyberinfrastructure supporting research as appropriately embodying a model of an "ecosystem" constituting interconnected, appropriately synergistically evolving, elements.


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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