The US National Science Foundation (NSF) detailed plans to invest $25 million over five years into SpectrumX, an innovation centre tasked with exploring methods to meet growing demand for spectrum established in conjunction with 27 institutions.

In a statement on 14 September, NSF explained the University of Notre Dame will head the SpectrumX coalition’s work on wireless spectrum management. It noted the investment is the first government funding for a nationwide research centre focused on the subject.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed to work on the initiative: in a statement, they cited an aim to align spectrum research with US regulatory and policy objectives.

Jonathan Williams, NSF programme officer, stated congestion of radio spectrum is “a key challenge for science and for all sectors of society and the economy”.

SpectrumX will be led by Nick Laneman, co-director of the Wireless Institute at The University of Notre Dame.

In a related statement, he detailed plans for the consortium to explore technical and political breakthroughs covering “scientific receivers, spectrum sensing, coexistence and sharing mechanisms, cloud automation, and flexible licences and enforcement”.

Workforce development is another focus for SpectrumX, which will invest in science education programmes for schoolchildren.