A new partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and VMware is jointly soliciting research proposals on the topic of Edge Computing Data Infrastructure (ECDI) with an anticipated total funding of $6M.

Full information can be found here.

The VMware Academic Program (VMAP) is dedicated to VMware and academia jointly envisioning, exploring, and influencing the future of computing. VMAP works to connect thought leaders and leading research centers with key VMware technologists to accelerate new ideas and influence the research environment. We in the VMAP team are thrilled to announce this second joint solicitation with NSF.

The exponential growth in the number of networked devices and sensors is causing an explosion in the amount of data generated at the network edge. Further, there are new latency sensitive interactive applications that would benefit from fast access to this data.  Both these trends make edge computing a natural evolution, where data is processed close to the data-generating endpoints, saving on bandwidth costs and reducing latency.

While this evolution towards edge computing has been in process for some time with significant research efforts, an exciting and untapped opportunity lies in developing a rich multi-stakeholder service ecosystem. At the heart of this ecosystem is the data being generated by people, machines and things. Providing secure data sharing with data privacy across the different players in this ecosystem will enable new edge applications, while breaking the inefficient infrastructure and application silos that exist today. Such data sharing will significantly reduce resource inefficiencies across the board by removing duplications in data collection, storage, transmission and processing.

The ECDI solicitation is aimed at spurring a fresh look at edge computing research focused on the architecture, programming paradigms and data sharing in multi-tenant data infrastructure.  If you are a U.S. university faculty member, and this is a topic that aligns with your or your colleagues’ current research interests, please note that proposals are due May 22, 2018.