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Apple, Ericsson, others join NSF's RINGS initiative for 'NextG'

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. National Science Foundation is partnering with other federal agencies and private industry to form RINGS -- the Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems program -- a new, NSF-led initiative that seeks to accelerate research in areas with potentially significant impact on Next-Generation (NextG) networking and computing systems.

NextG systems are future versions of today's cellular, Wi-Fi and satellite networks that are expected to connect billions of people and revolutionize the relationship between users' devices and cloud services. The new systems will enable enhanced data streaming, communications, analytics and automation. These future networks and systems will provide key support to societal priorities such as education, transportation, public health and safety, defense and associated critical infrastructure.

Central to NextG systems is resiliency to survive, gracefully adapt to, and rapidly recover from malicious attacks, component failures, and natural and human-induced disruptions. Therefore, the RINGS program will seek to advance the underlying technologies to guarantee worldwide availability, security and reliability of NextG systems.

"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," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "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 RINGS program is NSF's single largest effort to date to engage public and private partners to jointly support a research program. Partners include:

  • Department of Defense Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Apple
  • Ericsson
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Nokia
  • Qualcomm Technologies
  • VMware

The investment of $40 million includes contributions from each of the partners. Approximately 40 awards are anticipated, each up to $1 million and up to 3 years in duration -- subject to the availability of funds and the quality of proposals received.

The significance of the public-private partnership goes beyond leveraging funding. For example, private-sector partners in this coalition represent some of the users who would develop and implement NextG technologies; they bring experience and insight, as well as the potential to accelerate the translation of fundamental research findings into new technologies and solutions.

National Science Foundation

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