Northeastern receives one of first research grants from CHIPS and Science Act’s $1.5 billion fund to study next-gen wireless networks by Cyrus Moulton August 8, 2023 Share Mastodon Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Tommaso Melodia, the William Lincoln Smith Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern, speaks in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex on Northeastern’s Boston campus. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Northeastern University has received one of the first grants from the CHIPS and Science Act’s $1.5 billion Wireless Innovation Fund to test approaches to building open and interoperable next-generation wireless networks. “We’re very excited to be here today, and to have this opportunity to partner with government and industry as the leading research institution in Open RAN,” Tommaso Melodia, the William Lincoln Smith Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIOT) at Northeastern, said at Tuesday’s announcement event with officials from the U.S. Commerce Department on Northeastern’s Boston campus. The development of open and interoperable wireless equipment is part of a push by the Biden administration to drive competition, strengthen global supply chain resiliency and lower costs for consumers and network operators. Open RAN, or open radio access network, is a movement toward standardization to allow interoperation between cellular networks. Northeastern Global News, in your inbox. Sign up for NGN’s daily newsletter for news, discovery and analysis from around the world. Name: Email: Comment: EmailSubscribeReader Type:World NewsUniversity News Tomasso Melodia, right, director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern, speaks with Amanda Toman, director of the public wireless supply chain innovation fund for the U.S. Department of Commerce, left, during a tour of the WIOT labs. Northeastern University Photo “We are committed to collaborating with government and industry in advancing open wireless technologies and their societal impact,” Melodia continued. “We’re incredibly excited also of our role as a knowledge incubator, and we look forward to partnering with small businesses in creating and fostering an ecosystem around Open RAN.” The announcement of the grants was made at Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex and was followed by a tour of the WIOT lab. The CHIPS and Science Act provides $1.5 billion over the next decade to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund to support the development of open and interoperable wireless networks. NTIA is part of the Commerce Department. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Amanda Toman, director of the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund for the United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, announces Northeastern University as among the first awardees from a $1.5 billion Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund. Photos by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Amanda Toman, director of the innovation fund, said the 5G wireless network is “already transforming our world—creating new opportunities for our economy, our education and our health care.” She also said the market for wireless equipment is highly consolidated and some equipment vendors pose national security risks. “The result is a wireless equipment market where costs are high and resilience is low, and American companies are increasingly shut out,” Toman said. But “the Wireless Innovation Fund aims to change that,” she said. Northeastern is one of three grant recipients announced Tuesday that will help make that change. Tommaso Melodia, the William Lincoln Smith Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University “At Northeastern, our research enterprise is relentlessly focused on impact in the world,” David Madigan, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Northeastern University, said. “This grant from the NTIA, made possible by the signing of the historic CHIPS Act, will help us continue to pioneer critical research in wireless systems and networks, ensuring that the next generation of the Internet of Things will be a continuum of connected devices able to interact in new and exciting ways.” The university will create TENORAN, a fine-grain, end-to-end and accurate energy efficiency testing platform that will enable the construction of sustainable and energy-efficient wireless networks. The TENORAN project will be led by Salvatore D’Oro, assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering. “The first award of the Wireless Innovation Fund will develop for the first time, structural methodologies to support testing and innovation of the energy efficiency of Open RAN systems,” Melodia says. “As we move towards a future of open, interoperable, and virtualized wireless systems, we need to reduce our waste and we need to make sure that the energy consumption of these systems is on par or lower than legacy systems.” Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University Photos by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University The grant showcases Northeastern’s partnership with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, an agency that supports business formation and growth in the state’s technology sector and supported the university’s proposal to the NTIA Wireless Innovation Fund. The grant also demonstrates Northeastern’s commitment to research and innovation. “We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and the NTIA for making this investment in Massachusetts through the CHIPS and Science Act,” Massachusetts Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao said. “World-class research centers like Northeastern are what power our state’s innovation economy and this award will allow Massachusetts to play an important role in our country’s national economic and national security for decades to come.” Cyrus Moulton is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MoultonCyrus.