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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Doing Business As Name:University of Washington
PD/PI:
  • Rajesh Rao
  • (206) 685-9141
  • rao@cs.washington.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Sam Kassegne
  • Chet Moritz
  • Polina O Anikeeva
Award Date:08/04/2011
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 18,175,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 35,207,283
  • FY 2014=$4,020,157
  • FY 2015=$4,570,569
  • FY 2013=$3,796,033
  • FY 2017=$4,235,349
  • FY 2019=$3,492,651
  • FY 2011=$3,258,308
  • FY 2016=$4,039,999
  • FY 2012=$3,500,000
  • FY 2018=$4,294,217
Start Date:08/15/2011
End Date:07/31/2021
Transaction Type: Cooperative Agreements
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:NSF Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering
Federal Award ID Number:1028725
DUNS ID:605799469
Parent DUNS ID:042803536
Program:ERC-Eng Research Centers
Program Officer:
  • Sarit Bhaduri
  • (703) 292-2975
  • sbhaduri@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
City:Seattle
State:WA
ZIP:98195-0001
County:Seattle
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Washington
Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
City:Seattle
State:WA
ZIP:98195-0001
County:Seattle
Country:US
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

Over the last decade, the field of neural engineering has demonstrated to the world that a computer cursor, a wheelchair, or a simple prosthetic limb can be controlled using direct brain-machine and brain-computer neural signals. However, technologies that allow such accomplishments do not yet enable versatile and highly complex interactions with sophisticated environments. Today's intelligent systems and robots can neither sense nor move like biological systems, and devices implanted in or interfaced with neural systems cannot process neural data robustly, safely, and in a functionally meaningful way. Doing so requires a critical missing ingredient: a novel, neural-inspired approach based on a deep understanding of how biological systems acquire and process information. This is the focus of this proposal. The NSF ERC for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (ERC/SNE or "Center") will become a global hub for delivering neural-inspired sensorimotor devices. Using devices that mine the rich data in neural signals available from implantable, wearable, and interactive interfaces, the ERC/SNE will build end-to-end integrated systems. Examples include: implantable neurochips that can activate paralyzed limbs by electrically stimulating muscles or nerve roots; stationary robots that extract neural signals from a user's touch to provide home-based, post-stroke therapy; neural-controlled adaptive prosthetic limbs that provide sophisticated sensory feedback, and wearable caps that control external exploration devices. Unlike traditional approaches that stress accommodation to the needs of people with neurological disabilities, the ERC/SNE will focus on proactive technologies that provide seamless and adaptive person-machine interaction. It will accomplish this mission with three core engineering thrusts: (1) communication and interface design for devices and data management, (2) reverse and forward engineering of neural systems and neural-inspired devices, and (3) control and adaptation technologies that express sensorimotor functions for individual needs. The ERC/SNE will nurture future global multidisciplinary leaders. It will develop middle and high school project-based curricula that introduce neural engineering principles to students underrepresented in engineering. It will create multi-institution, undergraduate and graduate Neural Engineering courses with new degree structures and develop vertical research mentoring chains to build a strong research culture from faculty to K-12. It will build long-lasting and deep relationships through faculty and student exchange programs across all disciplines and partnering institutions, with a goal of removing barriers in communication across different fields, countries, and diverse backgrounds. The neural engineering field creates new pathways from the less quantitatively-based biological sciences to the more quantitatively-based engineering fields as well as pathways for people with disabilities to work in an engineering field that addresses their own experience and needs. The women and underrepresented minorities who currently account for over 40% of the Center's leadership team will serve as role models for students and starting faculty. Further, the ERC/SNE will extend its impact by identifying key technologies according to market significance and technical risk. The Center's portfolio will be constructed to deliver a steady stream of innovations over the near and long term. Its industry partnership structure includes not only small and large firms that will help shape Center IPs, but also hospitals and investment firms that will ground research activities to technologies that will truly assist people in need and steer future neural engineering market directions. The ERC/NSE will strive to enhance the human experience both for persons with neurological disabilities and for the coming generation of global and diverse engineering innovators. The Center's seasoned, multi-disciplinary team will transform healthcare, manufacturing, and the educational infrastructure to guarantee neural engineering global leadership.

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