NSF invests $21 million to tackle 2 complex societal challenges: the networked blue economy, and trust and authenticity in communication systems
Credit: Justine Alldredge and Joshua McGriff / NSF's Convergence Accelerator
The U.S. National Science Foundation is building upon basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions in two critical research areas: the Networked Blue Economy and Trust & Authenticity in Communications. With an investment of $21 million, NSF has selected 28 multidisciplinary teams for phase one of the Convergence Accelerator program 2021 cohort.
Each team, comprised of a wide range of disciplines and expertise from academia, industry, government, nonprofit, and other communities of practice, will begin in phase 1. Over the next nine months, each team will develop their initial idea into a proof of concept, identify new team members and partners, and participate in the innovation curriculum.
"The Convergence Accelerator's innovation curriculum consists of human-centered design; user discovery; team science; early-stage prototyping; storytelling; and pitch preparation," said Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. "The curriculum is designed to provide our funded teams the tools to transform their pioneering ideas into a proof of concept, then prototype and finally a solution. Teams will also be required to develop partnerships to support solution sustainability and transition to practice."
Convergence Accelerator research topics begin as an ideation process - gathering input from the community. Identified topics that meet the program's criteria are coordinated into community workshops to further develop and incorporate convergence research, and include a wide range of stakeholders. The workshop findings will then assist NSF in selecting the research topics.
"The Networked Blue Economy and Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems topics were chosen based on community input, research priorities and immediate need to create sustainable solutions," said Maughan.
The Networked Blue Economy research track E includes 16 multidisciplinary teams. The overarching track goal is to interconnect the blue economy and accelerate convergence across ocean sectors; creating a smart, integrated, connected and open ecosystem for ocean innovation, exploration and sustainable utilization. Collectively, funded research teams will produce innovative tools, techniques, methods and educational resources, as well as solutions that improve human engagement with oceans.
Projects and institutions awarded are listed below.
- A Globally Coordinated, Universally Accessible Digital Twin Network for the Coral Reef Blue Economy, led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
- Advancing Innovative Convergence Between Fisheries and Offshore Energy to Drive Adaptive Stewardship of Fisheries Habitat in a Dynamic Blue Economy, led by Blue Latitudes, LLC.
- Combining High-resolution Climate Simulations with Ocean Biogeochemistry, Fisheries and Decision-making Models to Improve Sustainable Fisheries, led by Texas A&M University.
- Convergence Towards Nationwide Smart Precision Aquaculture Networks for Sustainable Shellfish Farming, led by the University of Maryland, College Park.
- Data Governance to Support an Equitable and Sustainable Blue Economy, led by Multiplier.
- Data Interfacing of Human Use, Culture, Economics, and Environment within the Blue Economy for Underserved Populations, led by West Virginia University.
- Developing Blue Economy from Micro to Macro-scale in Kelp Aquaculture, led by San Diego State University.
- Empowering Stakeholders from Ship to Store, Solving Fishery Management Challenges with Use-Inspired Genomic and Artificial Intelligence Tools, led by Michigan State University.
- Equipping Underserved Communities with Ocean Intelligence Platforms, led by the University of Washington.
- Innovative Seafood Traceability Network for Sustainable Use, Improved Market Access, and Enhanced Blue Economy, led by Loyola Marymount University.
- Linking the Green Economy to the Blue Economy at the Coast, led by the University of South Florida.
- Next Generation Biomaterials with Engineered Biodegradability to Enable Networked Swarm Sensing in the Ocean, led by the University of California, Santa Barbara.
- Ocean Vision Artificial Intelligence: Scaling Up Visual Observations of Life in the Ocean Using Artificial Intelligence, led by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
- Reconfiguring Urban Shorelines for Resilience: Convergence Research Meshing Ecology, Engineering, and Architecture, led by Stony Brook University.
- Regional Climate Change Projections to Enable Equitable Ocean Planning for the Blue Economy, led by Rutgers University.
- Using Recycled Glass Sand to Promote Resilience and the Blue Economy in Coastal Communities, led by Tulane University.
The Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems research track F involves 12 multidisciplinary teams. Modern life and economic growth are dependent on access to communications systems that offer trustworthy and accurate information. Yet, these systems can be manipulated or have unanticipated negative effects. The overarching track goal is to address the urgent need for tools and techniques to help the nation effectively prevent, mitigate and adapt to critical threats to communication systems.
Institutions and projects awarded are listed below.
- A Disinformation Range to Improve User Awareness and Resilience to Online Disinformation, led by the State University of New York, Buffalo.
- Actionable Sensemaking Tools for Curating and Authenticating Information in the Presence of Misinformation during Crises, led by the Ohio State University.
- Adapting and Scaling Existing Educational Programs to Combat Inauthenticity and Instill Trust in Information, led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- America's Fourth Estate at Risk: A System for Mapping the (Local) Journalism Life Cycle to Rebuild the Nation's News Trust, led by Temple University.
- An Algorithmic Observatory to Address Financial Misinformation and Disinformation in Minoritized Communities, led by the University of California, Irvine.
- Analysis and Response for Trust Tool (ARTT): Expert-Informed Resources for Individuals and Online Communities to Address Vaccine Hesitancy and Misinformation, led by Hacks/Hackers.
- Building Trust in Communication Systems by Addressing Misinformation-Driven Online Abuse and Harassment, led by George Washington University.
- Co-designing for Trust: Reimagining Online Information Literacies with Underserved Communities, led by the University of Washington.
- FACT-CHAMP — Fact-checker, Activist, and Academia Collaboration Tools: Combating Hate, Abuse, and Misinformation with Minority-led Partnerships, led by Meedan.
- How Large-Scale Identification and Intervention Can Empower Professional Fact-Checkers to Improve Democracy and Public Health, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Misinformation Judgments with Public Legitimacy, led by the University of Michigan.
- Verified Information Exchange, led by the University of Washington.
More information about the Convergence Accelerator program can be found at nsf.gov.
Media Affairs, NSF, (703) 292-7090, firstname.lastname@example.org