A grant program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to support the research, development and improvement of critical civil infrastructure systems (CIS).
Through the CIS program, all areas of infrastructure are targeted, including transportation, water, pipelines, power and other civil systems. The program encourages ideas that are potentially disruptive to systems, if they will significantly transform the infrastructure.
For example, Arizona State University was awarded a $1.9 million NSF grant in 2014 for a computer-based system designed to test the strength of crisis response in three civil infrastructure areas through 2018. The results will allow policymakers to make better decisions regarding the resiliency of civil infrastructure networks.
The ASU grant helped fund a study, published in the Journal of Transport & Health, that found that the expansion of public transit and the encouragement of transportation methods such as walking and biking exposed citizens to extreme heat and other dangerous weather elements. The findings suggested that city leaders take climate change into account when designing infrastructure to reduce dependence on personal vehicles.
Award amounts vary, and applications are accepted twice per year. For 2018, applications may be submitted Jan. 18-24 and Sept. 1-17.