Translation Grant Call

1. Overview

1.1. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) are investing close to S$70 million to future-proof Singapore’s communications and connectivity capabilities, through the launch of the Future Communications Research and Development Programme (FCP).

1.2 The four-year programme will strengthen Singapore’s 5G ecosystem and accelerate the research and translation of future communication technologies. Hosted by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), the programme comprises:
•Development of Future Communications Connectivity Lab@SUTD and Future Communications Translation Lab@SIT
•Grant calls for R&D and translation of future communications technologies
•Support for local talent pursuing research in communications and connectivity
•International Partnership for future communications technologies such as 6G

1.3 The FCP will be launching a series of research and translation grant calls to invite interested parties to submit proposals related to future communications.

1.4 This first grant call (translation) is aimed to to seed strategic research collaborations among local Autonomous Universities (AUs) and industry. The FCP hopes to grow the ecosystem by supporting companies that lack resources and talents to build or translate technologies to leverage on 5G capabilities.

1.5 Proposals will be accepted and reviewed in two batches.
• The first batch of proposals will be accepted from 30 November 2021 and the first submission deadline is 31 March 2022, 23:59.
• The second batch of proposals will be accepted after 31 March 2022 and the second submission deadline is 30 September 2022, 23:59.

2. Scope of Translation Grant Call

2.1. In line with goals and directions above, this translation grant call will be thematic with focus on Innovative Mobility Capabilities (Air, Land, Sea).

2.2. Proposals shall identify and address use cases under the theme of Innovative Mobility Capabilities (Air, Land, Sea) for this translation call. Some examples of use cases, are as follows:
Autonomous vessels
To enable autonomous vessels/vehicles, the challenge is to enable ultra low latency connectivity for remote operations. As such, the goal is to use 5G with ultra high reliability and low latency communications and to tackle the scenario of operating multiple vessels simultaneously.
Search & Rescue
To enhance the safety of crewman and workers at the port, the use of IoT sensors for tracking and monitoring through 5G network will be essential. However, this will require high reliability, real time connectivity, and accurate positioning of all sensors via the 5G network. With large number of sensors and challenging environment conditions, the goal is to improve efficiency and accuracy of this application using 5G technologies.
Ship-Shore Communications
In current maritime operations, this communication link is either based on VHS or 4G technologies, which can only allow low rate applications. The challenge is to increase the data rate as well as coverage of ship-shore communications so as to improve vessel traffic management and operations using 5G technologies.
Smart Drones
Smart drones with HD video streaming for real time monitoring will greatly increase the safety of maritime and land mobility operations. The challenge is to build reliable and high data rate connectivity links between drones with the 5G base stations. Furthermore, extending the coverage of these links will greatly increase the monitoring zone of these smart drones.
Remote handling of vehicles
To enable remote handling of vehicles, it is essential to implement 5G with ultra high reliability and low latency communications as well as accurate positioning. Furthermore, the large number of vehicles in the port and large number of autonomous vehicles on the road will require the system to manage multiple vehicles simultaneously.
With 5G technologies, it is possible to deploy massive IoT devices in a port for monitoring asset, structures, environment, vehicles, and people. With diverse data rate, reliability, and latency requirements, it is challenging to build a scalable, reliable, and heterogeneous sensor network based on 5G technologies.
AR Maintenance
With enhanced broadband capabilities in 5G, it is possible to enable augmented reality (AR) applications for maintenance operations in maritime and land mobility operations. However, the challenge is to increase the number of users and devices that can use such services in a port as high as possible.
Remote control with real time data and AI
In current maritime and land mobility operations, the communication technologies are usually low data rate and high latency. As such, to enable remote control with real time data and AI, it is essential to implement 5G with ultra high reliability and low latency communications as well as AI capabilities to make predictive operations and maintenance possible in real time.
5G satellite integration
With 5G satellite integrated with the terrestrial 5G networks, the coverage of maritime operations to offshore can be easily extended. Moreover, the land mobility operations can also leverage on satellite and 5G networks together. However, such an integration is still not available in our current 5G networks and satellite communication belongs to the newer 3GPP releases.
Use of sub 6Ghz and mmWave spectrum
With mmWave for short range connectivity and sub 6Ghz for long range connectivity, it will open up the possibility of heterogeneous 5G networks deployment across the spectrum. However, handover among these networks and seamless services migration may be challenging, especially for delay sensitive applications in maritime and land mobility.

2.3. Furthermore, proposals should clearly state the following:
•The problem statements that the proposal is solving;
•The details of demonstration of 5G and future communication technology use cases for air, land, and sea operations;
•The necessary support required for integration with third-party equipment and systems;
•The use of the 5G and future communication technology and its capabilities and features to address the use cases; and
•The potential use of Future Communications Connectivity Lab at SUTD and Future Communications Translation Lab at SIT.

3. Project Deliverables & Outcomes

3.1. Co-funded projects must involve the use of the 5G and future communication technologies to achieve the following desired deliverables and outcomes:
• The demonstrative use of the 5G and future communication technologies to address the identified use cases and challenges;
• Documentation and report of the deployed 5G and future communication technology network’s performance, capabilities, features and benefits to air, land, and sea operations.

4. Eligibility

4.1. The grant call is open to researchers from all AUs including A*STAR in collaboration with at least one company.

4.2. Proposals should not be funded, or currently considered for funding, by other agencies.

4.3. Funds awarded cannot be used to support overseas R&D activities. All funding awarded must be used to carry out the research activities in Singapore.

4.4 Each proposal is required to have at least one industry partner, who is committed to contribute in-kind/cash to the proposal.

5. Grant Terms

5.1. Quantum of grant: Up to $1,000,000 (inclusive of prevailing Indirect Research Costs (IRC)).

5.2. The duration of each grant would be up to 24 months from the start date stated in the Letter of Award.

5.3. The full Terms and Conditions can be found in Annex B. Your attention is drawn to the Guidelines in Annex C for a list of non-fundable items when proposing the project budget.

6. Submission & Evaluation Process

6.1. Proposals are to be submitted using the Proposal Template for FCP grant in Annex A. Page limits are to be strictly adhered to. Submissions must be in PDF format.

6.2. Proposals should be submitted to the FCP through the host institution’s (Lead PI’s institution) POC.

6.3. The FCP reserves the right to reject late or incomplete submission, and submissions that do not comply with application instructions.

6.4. Proposals will be evaluated by a committee against the following criteria:
• Significance and impact of research for raising the competitiveness of local industries, contributing to economic and job growth;
• Originality and technical merit of proposal;
• Strong deployment potential in Singapore’s context; and
• Relevant experience and track record of the research team.

6.5. The review period is expected to take approximately 12 weeks. All decisions are final.

7. Point of Contact

A*STARMr. Ong Hong
A*STARDr. Chew Chen
A*STAR Mr. Don Chan
CNRS@CREATE Prof. Dominique
NTUMr. Low Ming
NUSMs. Nur Hafizah Binte
SITMr. Jeff Aw Kok
SMUMs. Fitrina
SMUMr. William
SUTDMs. Wendy

7.1. Questions and clarifications should be directed to the Grantor through the host institution’s POC.

8. Annexes

Annex A: Proposal Template for FCP Translation Grant
Annex B: Terms and Conditions of FCP Grant
Annex C: Guidelines for the Management of FCP Research Grant