Grant Details

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

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    10.310 20.200 47.041 47.070 93.286 93.350 93.396

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    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. 

    In FY 2019, proposals for three classes of research and education projects - differing in scope and goals - will be considered:

    • Small projects: They are well suited to emerging new and innovative ideas that may have high impact on the field of CPS.
    • Medium projects: 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.

    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.


    History of Funding

    Past projects funded can be seen at

    Additional Information

    All proposals must include the following inside the Project Description:

    • Research Description that identifies the core CPS research being addressed and how the research outcomes are translational to other application domains.
    • Evaluation/Experimentation Plan that describes how proposed concepts will be validated and outlines the metrics for success;
    • 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
    • Broader Impacts that describe how the research outcomes, which includes Broadening Participation in Computing, will be disseminated to a wide audience, go beyond traditional academic publications, and includes education and outreach from the research team spanning multiple levels of engagement.

    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.  


    David Corman

    David Corman
    The National Science Foundation 4201 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22230
    (703) 292-8754

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are universities, two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges), and non-profit, non-academic organizations, including independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

    Deadline Details

    The application window for Small and Medium projects is April 1, 2019 to April 12, 2019. Frontier applications are to be submitted from September 12, 2019 to September 26, 2019.

    Award Details

    Up to $51,500,000 is available for an anticipated 45 project awards. Total award amounts vary based on program area: 

    • Small projects - Awards may be up to $500,000 for a period of up to 3 years.
    • Medium projects - Awards may range from $500,001 to $1,200,000 for a period of up to 3 years.
    • Frontier projects - Awards may range from $1,200,001 to $7,000,000 for a period of 4 to 5 years.

    Cost sharing/matching is not required for any program area. 


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