Communities in the United States (US) and around the world are entering a new era of transformation in which residents and their surrounding environments are increasingly connected through rapidly-changing intelligent technologies. Concurrently, communities are unique and constantly evolving. Shifts in population size, demographics, economic opportunity, technology, built and natural environments, and available services all impact overall community culture, needs, and opportunities. A fundamental understanding of the complex, dynamic interactions between technology and society is essential for unlocking the potential benefits of smart and connected communities.
The goal of this solicitation is to accelerate the creation of the scientific and engineering foundations that will enable smart and connected communities to bring about new levels of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life.
The specific objectives of this solicitation are to: (1) enhance scientific and engineering knowledge that integrates technological and social dimensions through modeling, analysis, design, and in-situ experimentation in ways that improve the quality of life within communities; (2) foster the development of a multidisciplinary and diverse research community that encompasses and integrates the perspectives of scientific areas supported by, but not limited to, participating NSF directorates; (3) support research and community engagement that is directly informed by the needs, challenges, and opportunities of present and future communities; and (4) conduct robust evaluation of project outcomes.
NSF has long been a leader in supporting research and education activities and growing the partnerships that form the foundation for 21st-century smart and connected communities. In addition to research investments, NSF has supported a series of workshops to build capacity in the research community and inform the S&CC research agenda. This agenda is an example of Convergence Research at NSF—integrating knowledge, techniques, and expertise from multiple fields and sectors to form new and expanded frameworks for addressing the needs of communities across the US.