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News Release 15-105

Laying the foundation for smart and connected cities and communities

NSF issues 12 new awards in support of the Global City Teams Challenge

man with an unmanned flying systems

Unmanned aerial vehicles can provide wireless communications when telephone access is out.


September 14, 2015

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced 12 new projects--a commitment of $2.5 million--to help enable a vision for smart and connected cities and communities at a White House event today.

These awards support NSF-funded researchers at universities across the U.S. to participate in the 2015 Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC), an activity launched in 2014 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to showcase smart technologies with the potential to transform cities and communities around the world.

The NSF awards allow teams of researchers, often from multiple institutions, to develop novel approaches to effectively integrate networked computer systems and physical devices, with a focus on applications with potential to benefit to the public.

"Today's awards are built upon advances enabled by NSF's longstanding investments and leadership in fundamental research in computing and information science and engineering," said Jim Kurose, head of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at NSF. "Sophisticated networking capabilities and the tight integration of computation and physical systems has enabled today's smart systems. These new projects, and all the participants in the Global Cities Team Challenge, will help to realize the smart and connected communities of tomorrow."

The research projects announced today include efforts to provide network connectivity through Wi-Fi-enabled drones when communications are down; sense and manage urban air quality; enable autonomous vehicles for on-demand delivery and mobility; and authenticate devices on the Internet of Things.

NSF's investments through the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program have been particularly important in laying the foundation for smart city technology. The CPS program was established in 2008 to develop the principles, methodologies, and tools needed to integrate sensing, computation, control, and networking into physical objects and infrastructure.

Today, the CPS program includes the participation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Transportation, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health. Over the years, it has funded a portfolio of more than $250 million in research projects.

These investments have advanced fundamental knowledge across multiple application domains--public safety, transportation, and health, just to name a few--and have the potential to improve the quality of life in cities and communities across our nation and around the world.

The full list of projects follows:

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Aaron Dubrow, NSF, (703) 292-4489, adubrow@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Gurdip Singh, NSF, (703) 292-8061, gsingh@nsf.gov
David Corman, NSF, (703) 292-8754, dcorman@nsf.gov
Kishan Baheti, NSF, (703) 292-8339, kbaheti@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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