5G and beyond: National Science Foundation plunks down $6 million for advanced wireless research

By Jon Gold

March 17, 2017

The National Science Foundation has announced that it will hand out a total of $6.1 million in research funding for Northeastern University and US Ignite, Inc in a partnership designed to hasten the development of advanced wireless technologies.

US Ignite is a non-profit dedicated to creating uses for futuristic wireless technology, and it will pair off with Northeastern University to create the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research project office, working to perform vetting, documentation and management for projects under the PAWR program.

“Through experimental research platforms that are at the scale of small cities and communities and designed by the U.S. academic and industry wireless research community, PAWR will explore robust new wireless devices, communication techniques, networks, systems and services that will revolutionize the nation’s wireless systems,” the NSF stated.

One of the main objectives, according to the announcement, is to establish “city-scale testing platforms” around the country in the near future. The office will distribute $100 million in investment over the next seven years.

Half of the money is set to come from the NSF, while the other half will come from companies and industry associations, in the form of both cash and in-kind donations.

Dr. Nadine Aubry, dean of the college of engineering at Northeastern, said that the idea is to let major stakeholders in the future of wireless tech work collaboratively.

“I believe that PAWR, by bringing together academia, industry, government and communities, has the potential to make a transformative impact through advances spanning fundamental research and field platforms in actual cities,” she said in a statement.


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