The national research cyberinfrastructure (CI) ecosystem is essential to computational- and data-intensive research across all of 21st-century science and engineering (S&E), driven by rapid advances in a wide range of technologies; increasing volumes of highly heterogeneous data; and escalating demand by the research community. Research CI is a key catalyst for discovery and innovation and plays a critical role in ensuring US leadership in S&E, economic competitiveness, and national security, consistent with NSFs mission. NSF, through the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC), has published a vision that calls for the broad availability and innovative use of an agile, integrated, robust, trustworthy and sustainable CI ecosystem that can drive new thinking and transformative discoveries in all areas of S&E research and education. In support of this vision, NSF is releasing two solicitations in parallel: this solicitation, Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS), and Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support Coordination Office (ACCESS-ACO). This solicitation (ACCESS) aims to establish a suite of CI coordination servicesmeant to support a broad and diverse set of requirements, users, and usage modes from all areas of S&E research and educationand calls for proposals for five independently-managed yet tightly-cooperative service tracks (see Figure 1). The second solicitation (ACCESS-ACO) focuses on the creation of a coordination office to support the collective and coordinated operation of the ACCESS service tracks.
Figure 1: Network of ACCESS services, with a focus on those supported by this solicitation.
This solicitation expects to fund five awards for five independently-managed yet tightly-coordinated services defined in the following five tracks: (1) Allocation Services; (2) End User Support Services; (3) Operations & Integration Services; (4) Monitoring & Measurement Services; and (5) Technology Translation Services. Together, these services are expected to provide a seamless experience for an increasing breadth of research users across a highly performing innovative array of national computational computing resources.
- Allocation Services (Track 1) will be responsible for providing equitable access to NSF-funded CI resources for the Nations S&E research and education community with the goal of enabling discoveries at scales beyond the reach of an individual or regional academic institution. The Allocation Services track comprises three defined activities: Allocation Services; Innovative Pilots; and a Service Model.
- End User Support Services (Track 2) will be responsible for coordinated activities that ensure a high-quality productive experience for prospective and current users when engaging with the NSF-funded CI resource providers at any stage. The End User Support Services track comprises four defined activities: General User Assistance; Allocation and Utilization Assistance; End User Training; and a Computational Science Support Network.
- Operations and Integration Services (Track 3) will be responsible for providing coordinating functions across the computational resource providers to enable the different elements of the NSF-funded national CI ecosystem to work together effectively and securely. The Operations and Integration Services track comprises three defined activities: Operational Support; Data and Networking Support; and Cybersecurity Support.
- Monitoring & Measurement Services (Track 4) will be responsible for providing an integrated and open data collection and analytics platform to ensure optimal performance, robustness, and usage of NSF-funded resources (including compute, storage, networking, software/data services, etc.) as well as to facilitate timely decision making for a broad range of stakeholders. The Monitoring & Measurement Services track comprises three elements: Monitoring & Measurement Operations; Service Model; and Data Analytics Framework.
- Technology Translation Services (Track 5) will be responsible for the development and establishment of technical and programmatic mechanisms to translate and integrate innovative cyberinfrastructure technologies and capabilities supported by OAC programs into robust production operations within NSF-funded CI resource providers. The Technology Translation Service track comprises two defined activities: Operations, including both Pilot/Development Phase Operations and Production Phase Operations; and Technology Translation Pipeline, including processes for selection and deployment.
NSF expects that these services, when funded, will come online with minimal disruption to the S&E research community.
Please note that each of the five service tracks has an associated set of requirements detailed in the body of this solicitation, including defined roles and responsibilities for the services, and specific requirements to interface operationally with one or more other defined ACCESS service tracks and with a coordination function to be supported by NSF through the separate ACCESS Coordination Office (ACCESS-ACO) solicitation. Proposers are advised to carefully read this solicitation for these requirements and for guidance regarding eligibility and overall strategy.