Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $225,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,500,000

Accepting SBIR Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Applications: YES

There is an increasing awareness that advancing the quality of life on our planet requires technological innovations that optimizes dwindling resources and leads to self-sufficiency through a smarter use of natural and engineered products. Smart systems, powered by smart sensors are emerging as a key technical innovation with potentials to support modern infrastructures from power grids, communication systems, scientific facilities, transportation, and manufacturing. It is also clear that the Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as a paradigm of pervasive presence of a variety of things/objects in the Internet space through wireless and wired hyper-connectivity. It is envisioned that these things/objects will be embedded with local intelligent capabilities to enable them to cooperate with other things/objects to solve common problems and provide new services. It is also expected that SMART sensors and IoT devices will generate large amounts of aggregate data. Handling this BigData in an intelligent manner will be an essential component of any SMART environment.

Employing advanced computing technologies such as machine learning, data analytics, low-power microprocessors, and cyber physical systems in novel ways will make smart sensors with embedded computational intelligence functional across a wide range of SMART environments and infrastructures.

a. Smart Sensor Nodes for Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing Infrastructures

The specific focus of this sub-topic is on commercialized smart systems or smart cyber physical systems (SCPS). These SCPS consist of a variety of components—an interwoven network of sensors, communications devices, intelligent control element, and computational elements for pattern recognition, prediction, and decision-making.

Grant applicants should focus on the broad technical area of commercializable smart sub-systems or SCPS with a well-defined smart engine, network interfaces, applicable physical systems, and target infrastructures. Potential examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Wired or Wireless Sensor Nodes (W2SNs) capable of collecting data, perform data analytics, perform local actions, and communicating with other sensor nodes or a central control center via wireless and wired communication channels;
  • Soft Sensor Nodes (SSN) which are similar to W2SN except that it is entirely a software package that collects information or data from several sources, performs data analytics, takes local actions, and communicates with other SSNs via traditional network channels. These systems could be used for monitoring in large networks, computer systems, and other complex information systems;
  • Sensor Web which uses geospatial capabilities such open GPS to provide location-aware services through turnkey systems, web or cloud services, or mobile apps in portable devices;
  • Smart Cyber Physical Systems Technologies which targets SSN and W2SN development. These include components such as sensor node operating system or other critical software stacks, wireless sensor network routers, and embedded processors for real-time computational intelligence needed for networks, fuzzy logic, and light-weight machine learning technologies.

The target infrastructures for the above technologies include, but are not limited to, transportation networks, smart grids, computing and communication systems, complex manufacturing systems, environmental monitoring, complex scientific instruments such as light sources, accelerators, and observatories.

The following technologies will be considered out-of-scope: Biosensors, Nona sensors, micro-electrical systems, ultrasonic sensors, and gas sensors. Low level components such as actuators and transducers are also out-of-scope.

Questions – Contact: Thomas Ndousse-Fetter,

b. Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies for Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing

It is envisioned that IoT things/objects will be embedded with local intelligent capabilities to enable them to cooperate with other things/objects to solve common problems and provide new services. A significant challenge, or opportunity, for IoT related technologies is in creating networked digital, real, and virtual things/objects that will enable intelligent capabilities to support the emerging smart infrastructures such as smart utility grids, smart cities, smart transport, smart manufacturing, and other smart systems.

The IoT object/thing developed under this sub-topic should be able to do the following: a) passive communication – communicate when queried through wireless, wired, or RFID; b) active communication – communicate through wireless, wired, or RFID channels when necessary; c) take local action - performance simple computation or analytics on its own collected data and act accordingly; and d) and make autonomous decision in accordance with established rules. Examples of things/objects could include but are not limited to smart sub-systems (also referred to as cyber-physical systems) at all scales (nano, micro, mini, macro) with embedded sensing capabilities for monitoring its environment, computing capabilities to execute machine learning algorithms, and communication capabilities to interact with other things/objects. These proposed smart Things/Objects could be retrofitted in existing systems or integrated into new systems from smart homes, through smart science instruments to smart cars.

Grant applicants interested in this topic should focus on commercializable smart connected products or IoT enabling technologies that span many industries, communication gateways and infrastructures, wireless/wired communication services, online data analytics, and end users applications drawn from science, engineering, manufacturing infrastructures of interest to DOE.

Questions – Contact: Thomas Ndousse-Fetter,

c. Other

In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.

Questions – Contact: Thomas Ndousse-Fetter,

References: Subtopic a:

1. Lee, I., Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsyvania, 2009, Cyber Physical Systems: The Next Computing Revolution, p. 20.

2. Ali Elkateeb, Electrical & Computer Engineering Department, University of Michigan, 2011, Soft-Core Processor Design for Sensor Networks Nodes, International Journal of Computer Networks & Communications (IJCNC) Vol. 3, Issue 4, p. 11.

3. Grilo, A., Information and Communication Technologies Institute, Wireless Sensor Networks Chapter 2: Single node Architecture, p. 53.

4. Han, C-C., Kumar, R., Shea, R., Kohler, E., and Srivastava, M., Dynamic operating systems for sensor nodes, pp. 163-176.


References: Subtopic b:

1. Internet Society, 2015, The Internet of Things: An Overview, Understanding the Issues and Challenges of a More Connected World, p. 53.

2. Mattern, F., Floerkemeier, C., et al., From the Internet of Computers to the Internet of Things, p. 18.

3. Verizon, 2016, State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016, Accelerating Innovation, Productivity and Value, p. 24.

4. Cognizant, Designing for Manufacturing’s ‘Internet of Things’, p. 15.

5. Gurdip Singh, Computer and Networking Systems, National Science Foundation, Cyber-Physical Systems and IoT Research Challenges, p. 40.

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