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    US National Science Foundation Offers $8.5m in Funding for Blockchain Proposals for Cyberinfrastructure Security


    US government agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF), is inviting proposals on how new technologies such as Blockchain can improve the resiliency of America’s cyberinfrastructure. 

    “Total funding for the CICI program is $8,500,000, subject to the availability of funds. Resilient Security Architecture for Research Cyberinfrastructure awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total per award for up to three years. Cybersecurity Enhancement awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total per award for up to two years”, says the report.

    According to the call: 

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    …More robust, efficient and secure transfer of data while retaining the integrity of the data sets. With the growing amount of remote instruments and the increasing amount of data being collected from multiple, often remote, wireless and mobile sensors, science is increasingly distributed and virtual. Solutions such as the introduction of Blockchain technology are needed to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data as it traverses multiple environments such as mobile, cloud, campus, and Internet networks.


    Science is increasingly being conducted by distributed international collaborations and virtual organizations using shared cyberinfrastructure resources. Given the challenges with deploying and operating cyberinfrastructure at a large scale, security and resilience for the environment are both paramount. The objective of the Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) program is to develop, deploy and integrate security solutions that benefit the scientific community by ensuring the integrity, resilience and reliability of the end-to-end scientific workflow. This solicitation seeks unique ways to protect scientific instruments, resources, cyberinfrastructure and data that extend beyond building better perimeters and point solutions. As funding agencies move toward providing openly accessible data, the possibilities for scientists and engineers to use data sources beyond those created by their own community grow.

    The scope of the scientific workflow encompasses instruments, mobile and traditional networks, processing software, analysis tools, computing and storage resources as well as information repositories and data archives. In order to produce accurate results, each data source must be identifiable and trustworthy. Systems must guarantee that data sets cannot be altered, which could potentially modify the analytic outcomes.

    Funded activities under CICI should identify opportunities for student engagement as well as cybersecurity education and training. Proposals that demonstrate opportunities to engage students directly in the deployment, operation, and advancement of the CICI-funded activities are welcome.

    The CICI program is not the appropriate mechanism to provide support for basic cybersecurity research. Such projects would be better served as submissions to the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program.

    The proposals, however, could only be submitted by universities and colleges, and non-profit, non-academic organizations (such as independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities). The full proposal deadline is 01 March 2017.

    See here for more information.

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