NSF SII Planning: National Center for Spectrum Innovation
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This award is a planning grant for the Spectrum Innovation Initiative: National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research (SII-Center). The focus of a spectrum research SII-Center goes beyond 5G, IoT, and other existing or forthcoming systems and technologies to chart out a trajectory to ensure United States leadership in future wireless technologies, systems, and applications in science and engineering through the efficient use and sharing of the radio spectrum. This project includes the planning activities needed to envision and articulate a National Spectrum Innovation Center (the ?Center?), a multidisciplinary, multi-institution research and development collaboration led by Texas A&M University. The Center?s vision is to serve as a national hub for research, education, policy, and public outreach needed to assure the on-demand availability of dependable, affordable, high-quality spectrum access to all users. Research and technology development will be necessary to achieving the Center vision, but it will not be sufficient. Implementing a radical reshaping of spectrum access and utilization will also require new economic models and thoughtful changes in policy and regulation. It will demand changes in higher education curriculum and pedagogy to support a future workforce capable of meeting the needs of industry and of maintaining and innovating an intelligent-spectrum infrastructure. And it will need to build public interest and awareness, as well as account for the ethical dimensions of such an ambitious undertaking. This award outlines planning activities for a Center which is a multidisciplinary, multi-institution R&D collaboration led by Texas A&M University. The proposed center is composed of four key working groups: Technology, Education, Outreach and Policy. The Center?s technical approach will leverage advances in materials and mathematics; high-frequency and digital communication technology platforms; artificial intelligence and deep machine learning; and analog and neuromorphic computing to develop technologies that can dynamically allocate spectrum in real time across multiple, simultaneous users. Intelligent spectrum management has the potential to dramatically increase the capacity and efficiency of use of the radio spectrum. Beneficiaries will be not only the major institutional stakeholders, but also ordinary citizens, including many in currently underserved populations, for whom affordable, high-speed wireless services could provide access to health care, education, and economic opportunity. Work done under the planning grant will position the proposed Center to be a major locus of national collaboration in spectrum-related research, education, policy, and public outreach. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.