US-Japan collaboration funds projects for future next-generation networks

September 30, 2022

US-Japan collaboration funds projects addressing challenges in networking technology and systems for future next-generation networks

New U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) grants aim to solve some of the most challenging issues in networking and communication systems and technologies, from network reliability and security to the use of artificial intelligence for network optimization.

JUNO 3—short for Japan-US Networking Opportunity 3—is the result of a collaborative effort between the NSF and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) of Japan to address compelling research challenges associated with programmable networks for next generation core, and beyond 5G and 6G mobile networks. The projects call for creative and innovative ways of experimental demonstration that can leverage the research infrastructure in both countries.  

Five US teams are receiving $2.25 million from NSF and NICT is matching this investment to fund the Japanese collaborators for a total investment of $4.5 million. The following list highlights the teams of US researchers receiving funding, as well as the focus of their work:

  • Towards an Internet of Federated Digital Twins (IoFDT) for Society 5.0: Fundamentals and Experimentation. The goal of this collaborative US-Japan project is to leverage the team’s expertise in wireless networking and artificial intelligence to develop a scientific foundation that enables the effective design, analysis, and optimization of an Internet of Federated Digital Twins (IoFDT).

    Led by Virginia Tech and University of Colorado on the US side, this project aims to contribute towards enabling diverse Society 5.0 services—a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space. In addition, the teams’ goal is to enable real-time or near real-time interaction between Digital Twins across the Internet, which allows for synergistic end-to-end operation and coordination among multiple DT-enabled services such as smart mobility, automated manufacturing, and entertainment.


  • Softwarization of Intelligence for Efficient 6G Mobile Networks. This collaborative US-Japan project aims to improve wireless communications that support applications like augmented reality, which demand high-quality wireless connectivity that suffers from frequent outages.

    Led by Tennessee Tech and Idaho State University on the US side, this research, proposes an intelligent layer that learns the conditions of the wireless links and network traffic load and makes informed network management decisions to mitigate network disruptions. This layer will support ultra-high data rates with low latency, thus ensuring good application performance and user satisfaction. By enabling stable and high-quality wireless connections, this project will enable 6G applications such as haptic communication, augmented reality, virtual reality, remote surgery, among others.


  • Cloud-Carrier Cooperation for Efficient and Ultra-Reliable Programmable Backbone Networks

    The focus of this project is to improve network latency, bandwidth, and reliability through the establishment of a cooperative network that includes data center and Internet service providers. The collaborative project led on the US side by University of California, Davis aims to create a platform for flexible utilization of available and distributed network and compute resources within an integrated network-cloud ecosystem.

    The team plans to develop new insights to improve US national network infrastructures and provide benefits for Internet users in terms of high availability of critical communications and services at times of resource crunch, which can be caused by network congestion or large-scale natural disasters.


  • End-to-end network slicing and orchestration in future programmable converged wireless-optical networks. The objective of this collaborative US-Japan project is to develop critical enablers for a wide variety of new applications and services that are supported by next-generation networks.

    Led by George Washington University and North Carolina State University on the US side, this research brings unique research synergy of US and Japanese researchers and will lay the theoretical, algorithmic, and experimental foundation of end-to-end network slicing and orchestration to enable future programmable converged wireless-optical networks. The research outcomes will have overarching and transformative broader impacts on technology and society through the harmonization of optical networking, edge, and wireless domains.


  • Leveraging Heterogeneous Programmable Data Planes for Security and Privacy of Cellular Networks, 5G & Beyond. This collaborative US-Japan project seeks to provide strong security monitoring and privacy protection solutions that protect 5G and beyond cellular networks and the privacy of its users. Led by University of California, Riverside and George Washington University on the US side, the research teams plan to develop security solutions for efficient cellular networks.

    To achieve this goal, researchers will design a heterogeneous data plane framework that cohesively combines multiple data plane devices for network function processing. The approach will use a collaborative filtering system, where most of the traffic is processed only by high-speed programmable switches that can easily extract aggregated, coarse-grained metrics. Suspicious traffic will be redirected to programmable network interface cards, or the host as necessary, for further inspection and metrics collection. In addition, the teams will develop real-time monitoring of cellular traffic, and will design privacy protection mechanisms that ensure anonymity of users in the face of fingerprinting attacks.


“Next generation networking systems will go beyond cellular and include seamless connectivity among high-speed wired and wireless networks, connecting billions of people and devices (Internet-of-Things (IoT) across the globe.  Such an infrastructure will enable future generations of Internet applications that are faster, safer, and more accessible,” said Behrooz Shirazi, deputy division director for NSF’s Division of Computer and Network Systems.

The awards are expected to benefit future telecommunication infrastructure; therefore, impacting national economic development, existing industries that are dependent on these technologies and future industries that improve our Nation’s standard of living, from advanced, resilient, reliable wireless communications to autonomous cars and smart cities.

For more information on the JUNO 3 program, please visit:


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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