Northeastern University and New York University are among the first recipients of the $1.5 billion Wireless Innovation Fund, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Tuesday.
In this first round of funding, Northeastern was awarded just under $2 million to conduct energy-efficiency tests for open radio access networks, better known as Open RAN. New York University was awarded $2 million to develop testing and evaluation procedures for adaptive spectrum sharing and the Virginia technology firm DeepSig was awarded $1.5 million to develop Open RAN performance testing methods.
The Wireless Innovation Fund is intended to accelerate research into next-generation wireless systems and networks, with multiple rounds of funding over the next decade. It’s the first grant program funded by the CHIPS and Science Act to start making awards, said David Madigan, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern University, during an event on Tuesday. The CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion law signed last year by President Joe Biden, aims to boost research and manufacturing of semiconductors and other technologies in the United States.
“This first round of Wireless Innovation Fund awards will accelerate the transition to more open and resilient 5G and 6G networks,” NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson said in a press release. “These grants will fund important research and testing to catalyze greater adoption of open wireless equipment. This in turn will promote resilience, innovation, and efficiency in the mobile networks so important to our economy.”