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NSF Supported "CAKE" Takes Information Technology to the Next Level

Florida Atlantic University’s department of computer and electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering and Computer Science joins Florida International University (FIU) as one of only nine National Science Foundation (NSF) supported centers in the U.S. and one of two in the state of Florida in the area of information technology, communication and computing.

FAU has received a five-year grant from the NSF to create a site for the Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (CAKE) to provide a framework for interaction between university faculty and industry to pursue advanced research in these fields. Research that will be carried out by CAKE will fortify other areas of science and technology and provide new capacity for economic productivity.

The main objective of CAKE is to develop long-term partnerships among industry, academia and government, and will feature high-quality industry research, strong industrial support and collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of university developed ideas, research, and technology to U.S. industry. FAU’s center will operate jointly with the FIU center formed last year.

“This is a win-win situation for both our university, and our industry and government partners,” said Dr. Borko Furht, chair, department of computer and electrical engineering and director of CAKE at FAU. “This grant provides FAU with the opportunity to conduct industrially relevant research, receive additional seed funding, and moreover, benefit from the recognition and prestige of being an NSF research center.”

Affiliation with and membership to FAU’s CAKE is open to industry, government agencies and others with research needs. The center will provide its partners with numerous benefits including early access to research innovations, and opportunities to interact and work with faculty, students and industry peers. It addition, the center provides a platform to leverage research and development investments with multi-university centers renowned for their innovative research capabilities. There are currently 50 NSF-sponsored industry/university cooperative research centers in the U.S.

“The new center represents the combined efforts of FAU and FIU researchers, and now has the critical mass to serve the information technology industry in South Florida and help it to mature into the top tier,” said Dr. Naphtali Rishe, director of FIU’s I/UCRC-CAKE and Inaugural Outstanding University Professor.

The research agenda for FAU’s CAKE includes new technologies for various Web-based applications, video compression and communication, next-generation hardware/software development techniques and tools for mobile devices, RFID-based automation systems, and others. Several companies have already made a commitment to join the Center, including LexisNexis, ProntoProgress, RealNetworks, PartnerCommunity, Motorola iDEN Mobile Devices, Vivaja Technologies, Ingenious Software, Ineoquest and Evolux Transportation.

“This center is a great opportunity for South Florida’s high-tech community,” said Jaime Borras, former corporate vice president of Motorola and current chairman of Mobile Technology Consortium, which consists of 50 high-tech companies in South Florida. “The objective to bridge academia, industry, and government by providing state-of-the-art and economic applied research through the center is something desperately needed in this region.”

FAU’s center is catalyzed by an investment from the NSF, which will range from $307,000 to $750,000 over five years and will be supported primarily by center members. The NSF will assume a supporting role in the development and evolution of the center and its members.

Members will have access to and benefit from the results of all of the Center’s projects funded by the membership fees. “The structure and format of the membership program creates a multiplier effect,” said Furht. “For example, a member paying a fee of $24,000 will be able to benefit from at least $300,000 worth of research.”

Through an intra-government transfer mechanism facilitated by the NSF, FAU’s CAKE can accept funds from any government agency and will only charge a nominal overhead fee. Funds can be directed to any aspect of CAKE’s research, including work that may be beneficial to its industrial members. Furthermore, funds can also be used for collaborative research with industrial members who serve as sub-contractors.

The research that will be conducted by CAKE is applicable to many fields, including defense, homeland security, healthcare and biomedical science, environmental science, finance and technology services.

“Through partnerships and collaborative research at our center, we can examine, identify and address the root of various problems or issues which are of interest to multiple industry members,” said Furht.

Co-principal investigators of FAU’s CAKE include Drs. Hari Kalva, associate professor; Abhijit Pandya, professor; Shihong Huang, assistant professor; Ankur Agarwal, assistant professor; and Ionut Cardei, assistant professor, in the department of computer and electrical engineering and computer science at FAU.

For more information, contact Dr. Borko Furht at or (561) 297-3486.

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

Gisele Galoustian | Newswise Science News
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