I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a fantastic PI meeting last month — the National Science Foundation’s Future Internet Architecture (FIA) research program, 20-21 September 2014. As the formal FIA program winds down, NSF wants to maximize the opportunities for return on its investments into this program by helping connect principal investigators and researchers with other potential applied research and development funding sources. We are all well aware that, at least in the case of the NDN project (in which CAIDA participates), there are still huge open research challenges that will require years to conquer. But there are also tremendous opportunities to apply the ideas (and the code base) at this stage of the project’s evolution.
Much credit goes to John Wroclawski and Craig Partridge, who led the organization of this meeting. They arranged short presentations by seven federal agency representatives who outlined strategic interests of their agencies that were relevant to FIA technologies, and how to effectively engage those agencies: Stu Wagner (DARPA/I2O), Joe Evans (DARPA/STO), Mark Laurri (DARPA/MTO), Rich Carlson (DOE SC-ACSR), Dan Massey (DHS S&T), Kevin Thompson (NSF), and Doug Montgomery (NIST). They each provided a view of what their programs are, guidelines for how to propose ideas to their agency, links to recent funding opportunities, and answers to any questions we had.
This firehose-of-information session was followed by lunch and then breakouts to prepare pitches to friendly external respondents for feedback and discussion. Each respondent brought broad experience with non-NSF government funding across agencies and technical areas. The FIA researchers got some priceless preparation from some of the best and brightest in the federal funding community. The next challenge for FIA PIs is to convince some of them to participate in the next round of investment into FIA research ideas and technologies. Kudos to NSF and to John and Craig for great assistance with this goal.