Purpose and Scope
The Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center (BWAC, https://bwac.arizona.edu) is a $7.5M multi-university research and development center connecting wireless industry with faculty and students at the University of Arizona (Lead), Auburn University, the University of Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia. The purpose of the program is foster regular interactions and long-term relationships among the partners, prioritize cooperative research directions, and adapt the research activities and student training to address market needs. The BWAC "site" at the ND Wireless Institute, denoted BWAC@NDWI, represents the main cooperative research program in wireless at Notre Dame.
Partner companies become members of the center through one or more university sites by signing the membership agreement, designating a representative to serve on the center Industry Advisory Board (IAB), and contributing program funding of at least $40K / year over 5 years. Each site’s funding is pooled among its membership fees, investments from the National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/iucrc/), and reduced overhead costs at the site university.
Example: Company XYZ commits to center membership through two university sites at funding levels of $80K and $40K per year, respectively. It can designate two representatives on the IAB and has a total of 3 votes on the board.
The focus of BWAC and each site is determined by the IAB and the participating faculty at biannual meetings. Current areas of focus for BWAC@NDWI include: heterogeneous networks, multiband radio frequency (RF) circuits, spectrum sharing, user and network analytics, and applications in healthcare and education.
Benefits of BWAC@NDWI to Industry
- Exceptional team of faculty covering the wireless networking “stack”
- Broadest and deepest outreach to commercial wireless industry within BWAC
- Letters of Interest / Planning Workshop attendance from Alcatel-Lucent, IBM, Intel, InterDigital, Motorola Solutions, National Instruments, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Qualcomm, Sprint, Texas Instruments
- Campus-wide testbed concept is unique and has already provided useful information about WiFi offload and proximity.
- Unique collaborative relationship with the University IT, Public Safety, and Athletics departments
- BWAC@NDWI funding only has a 10% overhead
- Potential for more targeted funding of specific areas of interest beyond the BWAC@NDWI
- Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences
- National Instruments
- Office of Naval Research
The BWAC membership agreement is available here.