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Press Release 12-112
NSF Leadership in Discovery and Innovation Sparks White House US Ignite Initiative

Expanded testbeds, research and competitions will spark new applications to improve healthcare delivery, advanced manufacturing, disaster response and address other societal needs

Satellite image of North America with the GENI network superimposed on North America.

GENI is a fast, open, next-generation network for exploring future internets at a national scale.
Credit and Larger Version

June 13, 2012

View video interviews on US Ignite with Chip Elliott and Mike Zink; Deborah Estrin and George Adams; KC Wang and Marvin Schwartz; Mark Surman; and Sue Spradley and Jim Ingram.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it will serve as the lead federal agency for a White House Initiative called US Ignite, which aims to realize the potential of fast, open, next-generation networks.

US Ignite will expand on investments in the NSF-funded Global Environment for Networking Innovation (GENI) project which lays the technical groundwork for this initiative.

"NSF is proud to be the lead agency in US Ignite," said Subra Suresh, director of the National Science Foundation. "NSF has a proven legacy in funding the fundamental research that leads to technological advancements that spur economic development. As a result, NSF is uniquely positioned to attract our country's best creative thinkers and researchers to build, test and explore the potential of next-generation networks."

Using GENI as the thread, US Ignite will stitch together high-speed broadband resources to create a testbed across universities and cities throughout the United States at a national scale. GENI is a fast, programmable "virtual laboratory" that enables university researchers to experiment on so-called future internets.

"We've laid the groundwork for this national testbed by enabling foundational research by more than 300 researchers and 60 universities across the country to develop and prototype GENI," said Farnam Jahanian, assistant director of NSF's Directorate for Computer Information Science and Engineering. "Now, NSF will encourage the next steps for research on GENI. Experiments at-scale will transform cybersecurity, network performance, and cloud computing research, and will jumpstart applications, which have the potential for profound societal and economic impacts."

NSF is using its funding mechanism, EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to fund four new projects just announced:

  • Mike Zink and his team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are demonstrating the benefits of connecting radars to ultra-high-speed networks to improve weather prediction--an application to help mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.
  • A team led by Marge Skubic at the University of Missouri Columbia is exploring the potential for early detection of health changes with research on unobtrusive monitoring of individuals with in-home sensors--possibly extending independent living for seniors.
  • Lev Gonick and his team at Case Western Reserve University are developing high-definition, multipoint videoconferencing and realizing its potential to improve healthcare delivery--enabling, for instance, seniors to consult clinicians for diagnosis and treatment, without leaving their homes.
  • Another team led by Henry McDonald at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga is working on a disaster response system that provides emergency staff with training and planning, as well as real-time guidance on effective strategies to protect first responders and the general public--greatly improving public safety.

"To address the breadth and diversity of private sector challenges, applications must be multi-disciplinary in nature," said Thomas M. Peterson, assistant director of NSF's Directorate for Engineering. "We have funded projects that use GENI to transform advanced manufacturing."

One advanced manufacturing project, led by George Adams at Purdue University, for instance, is developing an open innovation manufacturing network to devise new ways for customers to interact with suppliers. "This may someday transform the current supply chains into much more nimble, innovative, yet integrated systems--a recipe for greater efficiency and productivity--key ingredients to America's economic future," said Peterson.

To further attest to NSF's commitment to US Ignite, NSF has today reached out to its research and education communities in a Dear Colleague Letter, to encourage proposals for the development of novel applications that take advantage of advanced networks developed through GENI and have societal impact.

Finally, NSF has also announced an award to the Mozilla Foundation to host an open innovation challenge, called Mozilla Ignite. This challenge will invite designers, developers, university researchers, entrepreneurs and other visionaries across America to brainstorm and build next-generation applications in areas of national priority that take advantage of advanced networks. Mozilla Ignite begins with a brainstorming contest. The next phase of the challenge will focus on the deployment and experimentation of applications.

The US Ignite launch will take place at 9:00 a.m. on June 14 at the White House and will feature the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren; NSF Director Subra Suresh; and other prominent officials from government, industry and academia.

The program, which will be streamed live, may be viewed on the White House website.

A recording of the program may be accessed via the OSTP website.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, lisajoy@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
C. Suzanne Iacono, NSF, (703) 292-8900, siacono@nsf.gov

Related Websites
US Ignite at NSF: http://www.nsf.gov/usignite
Dear Colleague Letter from NSF to its research and education community: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf12085
Mozilla Ignite: http://challenge.gov/NSF/380-mozilla-ignite
Mozilla Ignite Press Announcement: http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2012/06/13/mozilla-ignite/
US Ignite - Sparking new technology and economic development: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ1_xmXxeXk
Cleveland: US Ignite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgyFgsVkP6gv
Chattanooga: US Ignite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcE_k6DjE3A
Disaster mitigation system, University of Tennessee Chattanooga: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1236706
U of Missouri Researchers Remotely Monitor Aging Adults' Health: http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2012/0614-mu-researchers-use-sensor-technologies-to-remotely-monitor-aging-adults%e2%80%99-health/
In-home health alert system, U Missouri Columbia: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1237970
Ultra high-speed bandwidth for weather surveillance, U Mass Amherst: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1238485
Utilizing in home advanced HD videoconferencing for telehealth and wellness, Case Western: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1230663

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) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

Images of Chip Elliot on left and Mike Zink on right.
View Video
GENI underlies US Ignite and provides slices of internet to develop novel apps.
Credit and Larger Version

Images of Deborah Estrin of UCLA and George Adams, Director, ManufacturingHub.org.
View Video
US Ignite and GENI foster research that will improve processes with societal impact.
Credit and Larger Version

Images of K.C. Wang on left and Marvin Schwartz on right.
View Video
US Ignite inspires app development to address societal needs: public safety and healthcare.
Credit and Larger Version

Image of Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation.
View Video
NSF-funded "Mozilla Ignite" Challenge uses competition to inspire creativity for app devel
Credit and Larger Version

Images of Jim Ingram on left and Sue Spradley on right.
View Video
US Ignite Partnership inspires collaborations and app development across America's cities.
Credit and Larger Version



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