National Science Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Defense, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and nine leading companies, announces launch of a new public-private partnership to support research on next-generation networks and systems

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced new funding toward the Administration’s goal to invest in the technologies of the future, maintain U.S. leadership in critical technologies, and upgrade the nation’s digital infrastructure.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Department of Defense Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and nine leading companies, launched a program to accelerate research on next-generation networking and computing systems. The Resilient and Intelligent Next-Generation Systems program – RINGS – will create a platform to advance U.S. leadership in next-generation wireless networks and systems, strengthening U.S. competitiveness in a key technology area in the face of international supply-chain challenges.

Through a $40 million investment, the NSF-led RINGS program will support research on future versions of the cellular, Wi-Fi, and satellite networks that connect billions of people across the United States and the world, as well as the expanding number of devices that enable our everyday lives. It will lay the groundwork for the next-generation wireless connections that will enable faster service, networks more resilient to natural disasters and service interruptions, and broader access for people around the U.S. and throughout the world.

“Developing next-generation communications networks is of strategic importance, as it represents a critical step in preserving America’s technological leadership and enabling scientific, technological, and commercial innovation that will create jobs and enhance our economy,” said Acting Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Kei Koizumi. “Pursuing this progress through public and private partnerships leverages the core strengths of America’s innovation ecosystem towards shared societal and economic returns.”

Thinking beyond today’s 5G networks, the RINGS program will support fundamental research to pursue scientific and technological breakthroughs that will create the bedrock for the industries of tomorrow. Partnering with the private sector will bring unique experience and insight to research efforts, and create the potential to accelerate the translation of fundamental research findings into new technologies that can transform the U.S. economy. 

“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. Private-sector partners include: Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, and VMware.


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