The National Science Foundation (NSF) is kicking off a new initiative with Federal and private partnerships to accelerate research in areas that affect Next-Generation (NextG) networking and computing systems, NSF announced April 27.

The NSF-led partnership program, also known as the Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generations Systems (RINGS) program, anticipates up to $40 million in funding and expects to award between 36 and 48 grants to institutions of higher education.

“Since I joined NSF, I have championed public-private partnerships as a critical foundation for advancing the frontiers of science and driving home solutions to some of our foremost societal challenges,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in a press release. “I am delighted we are launching this multi-sector collaboration to drive the innovations that will shape future communication networks so vital to everyday life.”

The $40 million in expected funding includes contributions by Federal partners – the Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) – as well as industry partners like IBM, Apple, Intel, Google, and Microsoft, among others.

“The RINGS program seeks to accelerate research in areas that will potentially have significant impact on emerging Next Generation (NextG) wireless and mobile communication, networking, sensing, and computing systems, along with global-scale services, with a focus on greatly improving the resiliency of such networked systems among other performance metrics,” the program synopsis states. “Modern communication devices, systems, and networks are expected to support a broad range of critical and essential services, incorporating computation, coordination, and intelligent decision making. Resiliency of such systems, which subsumes security, adaptability, and autonomy, will be a key driving factor for future NextG network systems.”

Programs seeking an award must show the synergy between how their research works to advance both resilient network systems and enabling technologies. NSF anticipates awarding 40 $1 million awards through the RINGS program, with funding for each award to be doled out over three years. The deadline for proposals is July 29.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.