Purpose: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is sponsoring a workshop on March 13-14, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois to identify crosscutting technical barriers and knowledge gaps limiting innovation and U.S. competitiveness in cyber-physical systems (CPS). Particular attention will be given to current and future technology and measurement capabilities that can fill in these knowledge gaps. The resulting workshop report will be used to inform strategic planning efforts at NIST and provide planning information to other government agencies, customers, and stakeholders with a vital interest in the future of CPS technologies.
Scope: Cyber-physical systems—smart systems that have cyber technologies, both hardware and software, deeply embedded in and interacting with physical components, and sensing and changing the state of the real world—must operate with high levels of reliability, safety, security, and usability. A PCAST 2007 report1 recommended that Federal R&D agencies strengthen existing programs or create new, cross-disciplinary ones programs to accelerate work in this area. A December 2010 PCAST report2 expanded this recommendation to include a focus on energy, transportation, health care, and homeland security. The Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Management and Budget have also called for focused support of R&D in advanced manufacturing to “strengthen U.S. leadership in the areas of robotics, cyber-physical systems, and flexible manufacturing” as a means to promote sustainable economic growth and job creation.3 These recommendations all arise from an accelerated demand for new capabilities and cyber-physical applications such as the smart grid, the next generation air transportation system, intelligent transportation systems, smart medical technologies, smart buildings, and smart manufacturing. Indeed, CPS has a growing importance to the economic future of the country and to national and homeland security. While rapid progress is being made in CPS across many sectors, there are a number of technical challenges that must be addressed to meet increasing demand for these innovative technologies.
Some areas of opportunity include:
The U.S. is the global leader in cyber technologies and is well-positioned to gain a competitive advantage in CPS that will enhance U.S. economic security and enable resurgence of U.S. manufacturing production and exports; disruptive product innovations; and creation/retention of U.S. manufacturing jobs. The opportunity is to gain competitive leadership through the ability to develop new cyber-physical systems with built-in assurance of their critical properties, including safety and security, and correct, timely performance of their intended functions.
This workshop will examine the technical barriers limiting innovation and competitiveness in cyber-physical systems. The goal of the workshop is to identify potential crosscutting technical barriers, and describe the knowledge gaps that complicate solutions. A special focus will be on identifying current and future technology and measurement capabilities that can fill in these knowledge gaps. Experts from around the globe will be invited to consider the current state of technology and the critical challenges facing CPS in the future. Breakout sessions will be used to discuss these challenges and identify the most promising paths to solutions. The resulting report from this workshop is expected to guide the developments that enable acceleration in the pace of CPS technology.
Workshop Topics (straw):
The challenges and needs in the following CPS research areas will be considered and discussed:
Output: A summary of workshop results, plus a strategic recommendations or opportunities document outlining the proposed technology and measurement challenges for cyber-physical systems, as well as the context in which they exist (e.g. relevant business, policy, regulatory, and other pertinent questions or challenges).
1Leadership Under Challenge: Information Technology R&D in a Competitive World, PCAST report, August 2007
2 Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology, PCAST Report, December 2010
3 OMB-OSTP Science and Technology Priorities memo, July 21, 2010 http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/fy12-budget-guidance-memo.pdf