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NSF Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation Solicitation (SI2)

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 by Nili Tannenbaum
Tags: Frontpage News, Research Funding Support, Research Support Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced its Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) solicitation. This solicitation focuses on the creation of a software ecosystem that scales from small groups of software innovators to large hubs of software excellence by integrating development and support with innovation and research. The intent is to create sustainable software communities crossing scientific and geographic boundaries, and to enhance partnerships between higher education, industry, and government laboratories.

The solicitation offers two types of awards: Scientific Software Elements (SSE) (up to $500,000 for up to 3 years) and Scientific Software Integration (SSI) (from $200,000 to $1,000,000 per year for 3-5 years). SSE proposals have deadlines of March 3–17, 2014 and January 19–February 2, 2015; the deadlines for SSI proposals are June 13–27, 2014 and June 12–26, 2015.

Additional information regarding this year’s solicitation can be found at

SSE proposals are expected to target small groups that will create and deploy software with a demonstrated need to advance one or more scientific areas. They are also expected to demonstrate sustainability, manageability, usability, and interoperability; result in dissemination of reusable software resources; and support strengthening of prototypes or expanding functionality of existing resources to increase end-user relevance.

SSI proposals are expected to target larger, interdisciplinary teams developing and applying common software infrastructures to solve shared research problems faced by NSF-funded researchers in one or more scientific areas. They are also expected to result in the creation of a sustainable community software framework serving diverse communities, focus on software architectures with meaningful application in the scientific community, and include dissemination and outreach mechanisms and plans for software integration into established frameworks and support structures.

All proposals are encouraged to include collaboration with industry, government lab, and international partners. Competitive proposals will demonstrate the broadest interdisciplinary impact; those submitted through CISE are expected to result in the development of multidisciplinary and omnidisciplinary software cyberinfrastructure
partnership. Proposals are encouraged from regional network organizations and consortia representing the networking needs of academic research institutions.

Integration with Internet2’s Innovation Platform

The goals of the SI2 program intersect with Internet2’s national Innovation Platform, which supports deeply programmable networks through software-defined networking (SDN), deployment of Science DMZs on campus networks to facilitate data-intensive science, rapid adoption of 100G in campus network architectures to encourage applications innovation, and integrated end-to-end capabilities verified through performance diagnostic monitoring. SI2 goals also align with Internet2’s inventory of performance management software tools (including perfSONAR), developed in collaboration with Internet2 members, that enhance the deployment and use of high-performance networks.

Successful SI2 proposals from Internet2 member campuses will be able to contribute to a nationwide R&E platform for innovation by creating and deploying new software tools to optimize use of advanced networks and enhance research capabilities of campuses; facilitating increased collaborations with industrial, government lab, and international partners; improving use of software-defined networking and software architecture; and increasing research capabilities of researchers in multiple scientific disciplines.

Working Together

Internet2 staff are ready to help you as you prepare your proposals by providing technical consultation regarding network architecture and access to resources. In cases where proposals are likely to benefit larger components of the Internet2 community, we also would consider project collaboration. If you have any questions, please contact