Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

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21-551

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Synopsis

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computation and physical components. Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability that will expand the horizons of these critical systems. CPS technologies are transforming the way people interact with engineered systems, just as the Internet has transformed the way people interact with information. New, smart CPS drive innovation and competition in a range of application domains including agriculture, aeronautics, building design, civil infrastructure, energy, environmental quality, healthcare and personalized medicine, manufacturing, and transportation. CPS are becoming data-rich enabling new and higher degrees of automation and autonomy. Traditional ideas in CPS research are being challenged by new concepts emerging from artificial intelligence and machine learning. The integration of artificial intelligence with CPS especially for real-time operation creates new research opportunities with major societal implications.

While tremendous progress has been made in advancing CPS technologies, the demand for innovation across application domains is driving the need to accelerate fundamental research to keep pace. At the same time, the CPS program seeks to open new vistas for the research community to think beyond the usual cyber-physical paradigms and structures and propose creative ideas to address the myriad challenges of today's systems as well as those of the future that have not yet been designed or fielded.

The CPS program aims to develop the core research needed to engineer these complex CPS, some of which may also require dependable, high-confidence, or provable behaviors. Core research areas of the program include control, data analytics, and machine learning including real-time learning for control, autonomy, design, Internet of Things (IoT), mixed initiatives including human-in- or human-on-the-loop, networking, privacy, real-time systems, safety, security, and verification. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting, fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements across all application domains. The program additionally supports the development of methods, tools, and hardware and software components based upon these cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the principles via prototypes and testbeds. This program also fosters a research community that is committed to advancing education and outreach in CPS and accelerating the transition of CPS research into the real world.

 All proposals must include the following as part of the Project Description:

  • Research Description that describes the technical rationale and technical approach of the CPS research, including the challenges that drive the research problem and how the research integrates cyber and physical components. This section must also describe how the research outcomes are translational to other application domains. Specifically, it must include:
    • A subsection titled "CPS Research Focus" which describes the cyber-physical system attributes of the challenge problem and clearly identifies the core CPS research areas addressed in which the novel and foundational research contributions are being made;
  • An Evaluation/Experimentation Plan that describes how proposed concepts will be validated and outlines the metrics for success;
  • A Project Management and Collaboration Plan that summarizes how the project team is ideally suited to realize the project goals and how the team will ensure effective collaboration; and
  • A Broader Impacts section that describes how the research will be disseminated to a broad and diverse audience. This should go beyond traditional academic publications and includes education and outreach from the research team spanning multiple levels of engagement. Broader Impacts encompasses Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) and Engineering (BPE).

NSF is working closely with multiple agencies across the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T); the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); several National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes and centers including the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS); and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA, hereafter referred to as NIFA). 

Proposals for three classes of research and education projects—differing in scope and goals—are supported through the CPS program:

  • Small projects may request a total budget of up to $500,000 for a period of up to 3 years. They are well suited to emerging new and innovative ideas that may have high impact on the field of CPS. There is no deadline for Small projects.

  • Medium projects may request a total budget ranging from $500,001 to $1,200,000 for a period of up to 3 years. They are well suited to multi-disciplinary projects that accomplish clear goals requiring integrated perspectives spanning the disciplines. There is no deadline for Medium Projects.

  • Frontier projects must address clearly identified critical CPS challenges that cannot be achieved by a set of smaller projects. Furthermore, Frontier projects should also look to push the boundaries of CPS well beyond today's systems and capabilities. Funding may be requested for a total of $1,200,001 to $7,000,000 for a period of 4 to 5 years. Note that the Frontier projects have a specific deadline.

 

Program Contacts

David Corman
Program Director, CISE/CNS
dcorman@nsf.gov (703) 292-8754 CISE/CNS
Linda Bushnell
Program Director, CISE/CNS
lbushnel@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Sandip Roy
Program Director CISE/CNS
saroy@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Ralph Wachter
Program Director
rwachter@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Michal Ziv-El
Associate Program Director, CISE/CNS
mzivel@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Nina Amla
Program Director CISE/CNS
namla@nsf.gov (703) 292-7991 CISE/CCF
Sankar Basu
Program Director CISE/CCF
sabasu@nsf.gov (703) 292-7843 CISE/CCF
Phillip A. Regalia
Program Director
pregalia@nsf.gov (703) 292-2981 CISE/CCF
Sylvia Spengler
Program Director
sspengle@nsf.gov (703) 292-8930 CISE/IIS
Wendy Nilsen
Program Director
wnilsen@nsf.gov (703) 292-2568 CISE/IIS
Aranya Chakrabortty
Program Director, ENG/ECCS
achakrab@nsf.gov (703) 292-8113 ENG/ECCS
Jordan Berg
Program Director, ENG/CMMI
jberg@nsf.gov (703) 292-5365 ENG/CMMI
Yueyue Fan
Program Director ENG/CMMI
yfan@nsf.gov (703) 292-4453 ENG/CMMI
Bruce Kramer
Program Director
bkramer@nsf.gov (703) 292-5348 ENG/CMMI
Robert Landers
Program Director, ENG/CMMI
rlanders@nsf.gov (703) 292-2652

Awards Made Through This Program

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