Visible to the public  Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Program Solicitation 19-553Conflict Detection Enabled

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Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

NSF 19-553

NSF 18-538

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
Division of Computer and Network Systems
Division of Computing and Communication Foundations
Division of Information & Intelligent Systems
Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure

Directorate for Engineering
Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation
Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems

Directorate for Education & Human Resources
Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
Division of Social and Economic Sciences

Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Cancer Institute
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

  • Small and Medium: April 01, 2019 - April 12, 2019
  • Frontier: September 12, 2019 - September 26, 2019


NSF issued guidance for its proposer and awardee community regarding the initial resumption of operations following the recent lapse in appropriations and shutdown of the agency. That guidance noted that the Foundation was working to establish processes that would enable focus on a specific set of high-priority areas.

As part of this prioritization, for this particular CPS program solicitation, NSF is providing the community with 60 days from the time of solicitation issuance to the proposal submission deadline date. While this timeline reflects a change from NSF's practice of providing a minimum of 90 days for submission of full proposals pursuant to a program solicitation, NSF notes that the revisions to the CPS program solicitation are minimal, compared with the prior-year solicitation, NSF 18-538.

The Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program solicitation has been revised for FY 2019, and prospective Principal Investigators are encouraged to read the solicitation carefully. Among the changes are the following:

The following sections and subsections are required within the Project Description for all proposals: "CPS Research Focus","Research Description","Intellectual Merit", an "Evaluation/Experimentation Plan", a "Project Management and Collaboration Plan", and "Broader Impacts".

Additional information is required to address activities to broaden participation in computing and engineering. All Medium projects must, by the time of award, include actionable components that seek to increase participation of underrepresented groups.

A Proposal Preparation Checklist has been added to aid in preparation of compliant proposals. It is a summary of key items, but does not replace the complete set of requirements in the PAPPG.

Budget ranges for Medium and Frontier submissions have been updated. Budget for TTP option has been updated.

Submission windows for Frontiers projects have been adjusted, and no longer match the submission windows for other projects.

Addition of a joint research collaboration with the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the area of Networked CPS.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1).


General Information

Program Title: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

Synopsis of Program:

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. Moreover, the integration of artificial intelligence with CPS 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, autonomy, design, information management, internet of things (IoT), mixed initiatives including human-in- or 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:

A 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 "Intellectual Merit"

A subsection called "CPS Research Focus" that identifies and describes the specific core CPS research areas being addressed in which 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).

In FY 2019, 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), 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). In addition, NSF is working closely with the German Research Foundation (DFG) to support joint U.S./German research projects in the Networked CPS area.

Proposals for three classes of research and education projects--differing in scope and goals--will be considered through this solicitation:

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.

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.

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 project submission window is different than that for Small and Medium projects.