TeleCom City University Consortium Awarded National Science Foundation Grant
TeleCom City University Consortium AwardedNational Science Foundation GrantOctober 21, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $600,000 grant to the TeleCom City University Consortium. The Partnership for Innovation (PFI) grant was a joint effort by four universities and six private telecom companies joined under the aegis of the TeleCom City University Consortium. The $600,000 award will be spread over two years and will study new markets in wireless communication as well as support the growth of the University Consortium.
Dr. Lee McKnight of Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies is the Lead Principal Investigator, with researchers from Tufts University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Boston University figuring prominently. Private companies partnering with the Consortium include Cisco Systems, British TeleCom, two TeleCom City start-up companies, Fractal Antenna Systems and Nimble Microsystems, as well as Dialout.net and Telmarc Inc.
“I have been interested in wireless grids and virtual markets for some time,” said Dr. McKnight. “Working through the TeleCom City University Consortium has allowed us to assemble a top flight team of research talent from a variety of university and industry partners to break new ground in this exciting area,” Dr. McKnight added.
“From the perspective of industry, we see this as an incredible opportunity to work on cutting edge technology with a group of university and corporate partners that will accelerate the commercial deployment of our findings,” said Nathan Cohen, Chairman of Fractal Antenna Systems.
“Tufts is pleased to lend the expertise of its computer sciences faculty and researchers on this project,” said Ioannis Miaoulis, dean of Tufts’ School of Engineering. “We look forward to working with our academic colleagues and nearby civic leaders to optimize wireless applications in this TeleCom City project.”
The grant will deliver two types of benefits. The first is the investigation of ways to use a wireless grid environment to share computer power during periods of non-usage and redistribute this available, idle computing power using a yet-to-be designed economic model. The second benefit is to further develop and extend the University Consortium as a unique collaborative research model.
“This is an incredible feat this group has accomplished,” said Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn, the Chairperson of the Mystic Valley Development Commission (MVDC), which is developing the TeleCom City project. He added, “This Consortium just came together a year ago. This award serves as validation for a talented group of researchers and shows the TeleCom City project’s statewide and national value. It is part of what distinguishes us from just another industrial or office park.”
The Consortium is based on a Memorandum of Understanding between the MVDC and 11 area universities including Boston University, Northeastern University, Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts system -Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell campuses- among others, and Syracuse University in New York. The Consortium is focusing on two areas: continuing education/worker training and research and development in the high technology and telecommunications sectors.
The MVDC has committed to building more than just another industrial park. “From the outset, we wanted to create a collaborative working atmosphere with the area universities and researchers from companies in the Boston area who eventually will populate the park,” added Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard, the MVDC’s Secretary/Treasurer.
“The fact that this NSF grant is one of 15 awarded nationally out of 155 competitive applications is a testament to the collaborative vision the TeleCom City University Consortium has fostered,” U.S. Senator John F. Kerry stated. “I applaud the leadership and hard work of all the mayors and university and corporate partners and look forward to the continued growth of this important project.”
“This is truly the beginning of what we see as a long-term relationship between our university and industry research community and the TeleCom City initiative,” U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey said. “As the telecommunications industry continues to evolve this Partnership for Innovation grant will study a new economic model for a potentially powerful new distributed communications platform,” Congressman Markey commented.
Everett Mayor David Ragucci, the Vice Chairperson of the MVDC, said he was excited about this opportunity and its meaning for future Consortium grant applications. “This award strengthens the relationships we have built with our local universities. The Consortium has other applications in progress, and we believe that this is only the beginning of a strong research focus at TeleCom City,” said Mayor Ragucci.
The TeleCom City project is a planned 200-acre office, research and development park to be built along the Malden River in the cities of Everett, Malden and Medford.