National Science Foundation

January 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Research supported by the National Science Foundation could help the United States leapfrog past fifth-generation wireless networks, enabling an array of smart city technologies.  Krunja/Shutterstock

A National Science Foundation effort to ensure U.S. national leadership in wireless technologies will not stop at fifth-generation capabilities commonly referred to as 5G.

The extensive program, Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR—pronounced power), already has established testing grounds in three states—Salt Lake City, Utah; Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York City. Additionally, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a request for proposals for a rural broadband testing area. The goal is to establish four city-scale testbeds, which NSF officials refer to as platforms. Each platform will ultimately be connected virtually as a shared innovation lab for wireless research.

January 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
One of four phased array antennas is mounted on the top wall of Columbia University’s engineering building as part of the COSMOS wireless testbed, designed to test emerging wireless capabilities in an urban environment.

Across 15 blocks in New York City sit the beginnings of an extensive wireless testbed, which will help advance driverless car, smart city and other technologies for the modern urban environment. The outdoor laboratory, known as COSMOS, provides a platform for researchers to experiment with a low-latency, ultra-high bandwidth wireless network during everyday life in West Harlem.

December 11, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a report today by the independent science advisory group JASON titled “Fundamental Research Security.”

The NSF commissioned the report this past summer to better understand the threats to basic research posed by foreign governments who seek to violate the principles of scientific ethics and research integrity.

September 25, 2019
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Close-up of a "smarticle"—smart active particle—showing the two 3D-printed arms, light sensor and motor. Credit: Rob Felt, Georgia Tech

Researchers have taken a new approach to developing robots—using smaller robots known as “smarticles” to unlock the principles of a potentially new locomotion technique. The 3D-printed smarticles—short for smart active particles—can only do one thing: flap their two arms. But when five of these smarticles are narrowed in a circle, they begin to push one another, forming a robophysical system known as a “supersmarticle” that can move by itself. Adding a light or sound sensor allows the supersmarticle to move in response to the stimulus.

September 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The National Science Foundation is tackling an array of challenges associated with integrating DNA and silicon chips to advance the science of DNA-based data storage. New technologies are needed to handle the massive amounts of worldwide data generated each year.  microstock3D/Shutterstock

If the pursuit of DNA-based data storage is a race, it is probably more of a long, arduous, challenge-laden Tough Mudder than a quick, straightforward 50-yard dash. Or it may be a tortoise and hare situation with data growing at an extraordinary pace while science moves steadily along in hopes of gaining the lead.

July 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The NSF’s Quantum Leap initiative includes a number of programs aimed at advancing the quantum technology research and helping the United States maintain a competitive edge over other nations.  Nicolle R. Fuller/ NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in a number of research institutes designed to advance quantum technologies in four broad areas: computation, communication, sensing and simulation. The institutes will foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce development goals in quantum technology, which could revolutionize computer and information systems.

June 24, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh
The Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas in Austin is funded by the NSF and specializes in high performance research and development and data analysis. Credit: Texas Advanced Computing Center

Artificial intelligence (AI) research has enabled breakthroughs across almost every sector. The National Science Foundation (NSF), a leading funder of activities that support AI research and innovation, is joining other federal agency partners to announce the release of the 2019 update to the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research and Development (R&D) Strategic Plan.

The strategic plan was developed by the Select Committee on AI of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The 2019 plan offers a national agenda on AI science and engineering.

September 13, 2018
By Ali Cybulski
A researcher from the American Chemical Society—an NSF INCLUDES award recipient—works at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The society received a $400,000 alliance award. Credit: Biomedical Communications­–St. Jude’s Research Hospital

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued new awards in its program called INCLUDES—Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science. The awards will support the program’s next step, which is to develop a national network that will enhance U.S. leadership in STEM by broadening participation in those disciplines.

June 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers

When National Science Foundation officials announced in February that three major providers of cloud computing were donating up to $9 million collectively for big data research, they already were looking for ways to broaden the effort to include a wider variety of topics, including cybersecurity. The expansion is intended to benefit both research and education initiatives and is necessary, in part, because the cloud providers now acquire cutting-edge hardware before it is made available to researchers.

March 27, 2018
 

The National Science Foundation, Alexandria, Virginia, has named James S. Ulvestad as the agency’s first chief officer for research facilities.

February 1, 2018
By Erwin Gianchandani and Meghan Houghton
Much U.S. infrastructure is in disrepair and needs to be replaced. Cities across the nation are embracing smart city connectivity to improve not only electric or water systems but also overall efficiency and quality of life.

The U.S. infrastructure increasingly shows signs of aging, posing a threat to essential services. These conditions put the United States at a crossroads. Governments at all levels, working with the private sector, can either design the infrastructure of the future—one that will intelligently support community services and resident needs for decades to come—or continue to apply just-in-time repairs to the strained system.

January 24, 2018
 

DigitaliBiz Inc,* Rockville, Maryland is being awarded a $45,276,907 single award, performance-based, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee services contract (N6523618D8002) for engineering and operational support to the National Science Foundation, Division of Polar programs to deliver systems necessary for the safe execution of airspace management and control, quality operational meteorology, reliable aviation ground systems, and secure/compliant information systems. The contract includes a five-year ordering period and a six-month option period.

July 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation

Scientists are on the verge of breakthroughs in developing technology for controlling robots with brain waves. Advances might one day allow intuitive and instantaneous collaboration between man and machine, which could benefit a wide array of fields, including the military, medicine and manufacturing.

The possibilities for brain-controlled robotic systems are practically limitless. Experts suggest the capability could allow users to operate unmanned vehicles, wheelchairs or prosthetic devices. It could permit robots to lift hospital patients or carry wounded warriors to safety. Factory robots could more efficiently crank out jet fighters or virtually any other product. 

October 17, 2016
 
The National Science Foundation has announced 11 awards to enhance public access to radio frequency spectrum.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced 11 awards, totaling $12 million, to support activities aimed at enhancing the public's access to the radio frequency spectrum, the part of the electromagnetic spectrum used to facilitate telecommunications and modern information systems essential for public safety, transportation and national defense.

These three-year awards continue NSF's ongoing investment in radio spectrum research, which over the past five years has supported more than 140 awards through an investment of over $60 million.

October 4, 2016
 
The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that in 2013 five states dominated the country's business research and development.

Five states accounted for just over half of the $255 billion of research and development (R&D) companies paid for and performed in the United States in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Business R&D is geographically concentrated in the United States to a greater degree than either gross domestic product (GDP) or population. The five states with the highest levels of business R&D performance—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington—accounted for $133 billion, or 52 percent, of the total.

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Remedium Technologies is developing a product called Hemogrip, a handheld, lightweight canister that delivers an expanding hemostatic biopolymer foam for the rapid treatment of heavy bleeding within a body cavity.

The National Science Foundation is funding a remarkable array of biomedical technology solutions to help patients from mere hours after birth to days before death. Innovations include a protein-based implant for restoring vision, a method for 3-D printing with human tissue and a man-made material that mimics bone. 

April 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Researchers at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, have developed a robotic batwing that could one day lead to more dynamic, dexterous and sophisticated wings for aircraft. The National Science Foundation, which supports the research, announced the breakthrough in its online publication Science Nation, along with a video. Unlike the wings of birds or insects, batwings are more like the human hand with many joints and skin, allowing bats to change the shape of their wings in-flight, researchers say. 

 

The National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia, has selected Pramod P. Khargonekar to serve as assistant director for the Directorate of Engineering.