Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

NSF Launching “Science Across Virtual Institutes” Today

October 5th, 2011 / in policy, research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

(This post has been updated; please scroll down to see the latest.)

NSF launches Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) [image courtesy NSF].At 11am EDT today, National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Subra Suresh — joined by numerous U.S. and international researchers, government officials, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone — will launch Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), “an effort to facilitate collaboration among scientists, engineers and educators across the globe to better leverage taxpayer resources to spur innovation, enable discovery and help solve society’s most vexing problems.”

According to the official NSF press release:

Building on beneficial partnerships initiated by NSF-supported researchers, research institutes and universities, SAVI projects will address common challenges and serve as creative hubs for innovative research and education activities across borders.


SAVI’s impact will be felt in:


  • Creating virtual institutes through networking among NSF-funded, U.S. researchers and international collaborators that have complementary strengths and common interests;
  • Facilitating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and education partnerships among NSF-funded research centers/institutes–both virtual and real–and their international counterparts;
  • Providing students, postdocs and junior faculty opportunities for research experiences abroad that lead to long-lasting international collaborations; and
  • Strengthening connections between NSF and counterpart STEM research funding organizations around the globe by leveraging each other’s investments in fundamental research, research facilities, and human resource development.

The announcement will feature the experiences and successes of three pilot projects that demonstrate the value of SAVI, including at least one computing-related effort — Wireless Innovation between Finland and the United States (Wi.Fi.US).

Watch the SAVI launch live here at 11am EDT (the link will become functional just a few minutes before). And read more about the new initiative here.

Updated at 12:02pm EDT: NSF has issued a press release with much more information about SAVI.

According to Suresh:

“SAVI will serve as a catalyst for new, well-coordinated, and structured collaborations under one umbrella. It is my hope that SAVI will create new opportunities for NSF-funded scientists to collaborate across institutional, national, disciplinary, and cultural barriers.”

And Cicerone:

“This is an exciting opportunity for international collaboration. It acknowledges the global nature of science and engineering, while giving researchers a new mechanism to work together.”

And also during the announcement moments ago:

Alhussein Abouzeid from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute described a pilot project that provides a platform for building long-term research and education collaboration between countries whose researchers lead the field of wireless networking. Wireless Institute Between Finland and the United States (Wi.Fi.US) connects six active NSF awards at nine U.S. institutions in the area of dynamic radio spectrum access with a Finnish counterpart team. “Wireless mobile broadband is the next transformation in information technology that has the potential to significantly enhance many essential aspects of our daily lives including health, productivity and safety,” said Abouzeid. Teams will rely on complementary and multidisciplinary expertise to tackle the fundamental science, engineering and economic challenges in building reliable accessible high-speed wireless networks, “including innovations for unlocking the value of the underutilized wireless spectrum,” he explained.


Jill Pipher from Brown University introduced the audience to the Virtual Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (VI-MSS), especially important to innovation in this data-centric world. VI-MSS connects two existing NSF-funded national mathematical and statistical research institutes with several Indian research institutes, capitalizing on the strength of each in different facets of research. “VI-MSS will address many global challenges by supporting fundamental and computational research in mathematics and statistics related to issues such as sustainability, cybersecurity, health, and the extraction of useful information from massive and complex data,” said Pipher.

Read much more here.

Updated at 1:06pm EDT: And here’s a Dear Colleague Letter from the NSF director summarizing SAVI.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

NSF Launching “Science Across Virtual Institutes” Today