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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the availability of funding for the third round of its Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering (CC*IIE) Program.

This solicitation continues NSF’s original CC-NIE focus on campus-level network service improvements to support data transfer and movement as well as network integration activities to enhance high performance for science applications and distributed research projects.

This year’s solicitation offers six types of awards:

  • Data Driven Networking and Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards (up to $500,000 total for up to two years);
  • Network Design and Implementation for Small Institutions (up to $350,000 total for up to two years);
  • Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards (up to $1 million total for up to two years);
  • Identity and Access Management Integration (up to $300,000 total for up to two years);
  • Campus CI Engineer (up to $400,000 total for up to two years);
  • Regional Coordination and Partnership in Advanced Networking (up to $150,000 for up to two years).

All awards have a shared deadline of March 17.

Additional information regarding this year’s solicitation can be found on the NSF website.

NSF has a rich history of investment in domestic and international networking support for research and education. These investments extend to supporting innovation in networking technology.

Details About Grant Offerings:

  • Proposals for Data Driven Networking Infrastructure are expected to address infrastructure improvements enabling national and global high-performance, end-to-end access to dynamic network services to allow rapid and unimpeded movement of data sets and advanced distributed computing (including network upgrades, re-architecting of campus networks, and network connection upgrades). Proposals must address scientific/engineering project and application drivers requiring network engineering, describe end-to-end data transfers involving wide area dynamic circuit networking services, include a Campus Cyberinfrastructure plan, and document explicit partnerships or collaborations with campus IT organizations.
  • Network Design and Implementation for Small Institutions supports organizations with fundamental challenges in networking and resources. Proposals for this area should address the same infrastructure issues as those for Data Driven Networking, although without a completed technical design.
  • Network Integration and Applied Innovation proposals should support end-to-end network cyberinfrastructure by integrating existing and new technologies and applied innovation. These projects should focus on innovative networking capabilities, network-related open-source software development, and deployment resulting in operational environment prototypes. These projects must identify supported research projects requiring data movement, throughput, and predictable end-to-end performance; they also must include a Campus Cyberinfrastructure plan and a sustainability plan for operational and engineering costs.
  • The Identity and Access Management (IAM) Integration area supports integration and adoption of IAM tools to facilitate distributed scientific research collaborations including identity and authentication, group and role management, provisioning, adoption, and access control, with Virtual Organizations an example beneficiary and partner. Strong preference will be given to activities involving existing open source capabilities as will those leveraging the InCommon Federation.
  • Campus Cyberinfrastructure Engineer proposals should address the enabling role of technical expertise, leadership and engagement on campuses, describing the role and value of a Campus Cyberinfrastructure Engineer. Preference will be given to proposals addressing campus network engineering and high performance, intra- and inter-campus networking.
  • The Regional Coordination and Partnership in Advanced Networking area supports regional centers for community building, coordination and partnership through institutions whose expertise and resources in advanced network engineering can be leveraged for partnership. Proposals are encouraged from regional network organizations and consortia that represent the networking needs of academic research institutions.

Up to $20M Available

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Commence awarded $62.5 million in federal stimulus funding through its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program to establish a 100G national backbone, the Unified Community Anchor Network (UCAN), to link regional networks with thousands of schools and libraries. As a result, Internet2 is completing an 8+ Terabit-per-second capacity national backbone upgrade with 100G wide area network links.

In order to effectively leverage emerging network backbone capacities and capabilities, it must be supported end-to-end. This means removing barriers, re-engineering with an end-to-end perspective, upgrading facilities and connections, and introducing new services that extend through regional and state optical networks.

Campuses today face challenges across multiple levels of cyberinfrastructure, where meeting the needs of scientific research and education goes far beyond the networking layer in capacity and services, and extends to computing, data services, secure and trustworthy systems, and especially human expertise, collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The CC*IIE program invests in improvements and re-engineering at the campus level to support a range of scientific data transfers and movement.

Proposals may only be submitted by the following: Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the United States acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions. Or, non-profit, non-academic organizations such as independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

The estimated number of awards set by NSF is 20 to 35, with anticipated total funding ranging at $18 to $20 million.