First Grants Awarded from Wireless Innovation Fund

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Executive Summary:

  • Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded $5.482 million from Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund.
  • Fund total: $1.5 billion for open, interoperable wireless networks.
  • Goal: drive competition, global supply chain resilience, lower consumer costs.
  • Funding supports R&D: energy efficiency, interoperable equipment performance, spectrum sharing methods.
  • Awardees: Northeastern University, New York University, DeepSig Inc.
  • Funded by CHIPS and Science Act of 2022: $1.5 billion over a decade.
  • Up to $140.5 million in grants available from first round on a rolling basis.

Unedited Press Release Text:

Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded nearly $5.5 million in the first round of grants from the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund

The $1.5 billion Wireless Innovation Fund supports the development of open and interoperable wireless networks as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda.

Open and interoperable wireless equipment will help drive competition, strengthen global supply chain resiliency and lower costs for consumers and network operators. 

“America’s continued leadership in wireless technology is critical to our economic competitiveness and national security,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said“These investments in the next generation of wireless innovation will help create a more diverse and resilient marketplace and ensure that American companies and entrepreneurs, along with our allies, remain at the cutting edge of this crucial technology.”

The shift to open and interoperable networks is vital for our national and economic security. The development of new, open-architecture approaches to wireless networks will help to ensure that future wireless equipment is built by the U.S. and its global allies and partners – not vendors from nations that threaten our national security.

This first round of funding will support R&D and testing activities related to evaluating energy efficiency, measuring performance of interoperable equipment and testing methods for sharing spectrum.

The funding totaled $5,482,052 and was awarded to projects at Northeastern University, New York University, and DeepSig Inc.

Innovation Fund Director Amanda Toman announced the awards at an event with Northeastern University.

“This first round of Wireless Innovation Fund awards will accelerate the transition to more open and resilient 5G and 6G wireless networks,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson. “These grants will fund important research and testing to catalyze greater adoption of open wireless equipment. This in turn will promote resilience, innovation, and efficiency in the mobile networks so important to our economy.”

“At Northeastern, our research enterprise is relentlessly focused on impact in the world,” said David Madigan, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern University. “This grant from the NTIA, made possible by the signing of the historic CHIPs Act, will be help us continue to pioneer critical research in wireless systems and networks, ensuring that the next generation of the Internet of Things will be a continuum of connected devices able to interact in new and exciting ways.”

“This project seeks to develop testing and evaluation procedures for next-generation cellular wireless systems in the upper mid-band, a promising new frequency range that has attracted considerable interest from wireless carriers,” said Sundeep Rangan, Associate Director of NYU WIRELESS. “Systems in these frequencies will likely need to be adaptive and agile to utilize the wide bandwidth and directionally communicate. The project will investigate how this spectrum agility can be tested for both dynamic spectrum sharing and resiliency to attacks— two vital features of these bands.” 

“DeepSig is honored to be a recipient of the NTIA’s Public Wireless Innovation Fund,” said Jim Shea, CEO of DeepSig Inc. “Our effort will improve the performance and competitiveness of the Open RAN Air-Interface by leveraging DeepSig’s Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and tools for modeling and measuring the wireless environment under real world conditions. Developing new Generative AI tools for Open RAN will accelerate the adoption and performance of Open RAN for 5G, and future AI-Native 5G Advanced and 6G. We are excited to get to work!

”Funded by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the Innovation Fund will invest $1.5 billion over the next decade to support the development of open and interoperable networks. NTIA will make up to $140.5 million in grants available on a rolling basis from the first round of funding. 

ApplicantFunding AmountProject Title and Description
Northeastern University$1,989,783.00TENORAN: Automated and fine-grained energy-efficiency profiling of Open RAN systems via high-fidelity standardized testing scenariosCreation of a fine-grain, end-to-end, and accurate energy efficiency testing platform that we refer to as TENORAN, which will enable the construction of sustainable and energy-efficient wireless networks. 
New York University (NYU)$2,000,000.00Testing for Open, Secure and Adaptive Spectrum Sharing The broad goal of the project is to develop testing and evaluation procedures for open and interoperable solutions for Next Generation (5G-Advanced and Beyond) RAN components with a focus on both shared and adversarial spectrum scenarios. 
DeepSig Inc.$1,492,269.00Improving O-RAN Air-Interface Performance with Data-Driven and Generative AI Testing and Evaluation MethodsA research and development program to dramatically improve the fidelity, speed, and repeatability of OpenRAN (ORAN) Air-Interface performance testing by employing data and AI to model the propagation and interference environment more accurately and efficiently. This program will create a new set of standard ORAN air-interface performance measurement tools and scenarios that will revolutionize the evaluation of interoperable ORAN components under real world conditions.

About the National Telecommunications and Information Administration   The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, advancing public safety communications, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth.  



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