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Smart and Connected Communities

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Smart and Connected Communities program (S&CC) supports foundational research to solve the complex challenges faced by communities in the 21st century. It focuses on fostering deep collaborations between researchers, local governments, industry and community organizations.

This visionary program harnesses cutting-edge interdisciplinary research across various fields — including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, behavioral sciences and beyond — to improve communities' quality of life. It primarily supports high-risk/high-reward projects that go beyond the current state of the art and have the potential to transform urban and rural communities in the next five to 10 years.

Hear from grantees

America's communities are facing an unending array of challenges, but researchers supported by the National Science Foundation are racing to find solutions in collaboration with these communities.

Residents in several Indiana communities are part of new Purdue research determining how households consume energy.

Small communities in rural Iowa use a data-driven framework for smart decision-making.

Funding areas

Browse all S&CC funded projects.

Learn more about the program and funded projects through the S&CC Virtual Organization


Climate and environmental resilience

Research focused on developing strategies to increase community resilience to environmental stressors ranging from a changing climate to natural disasters and other crises.


Community planning and digital governance

Projects focused on developing tools for more equitable community planning and governance. 

graduation cap on top of books

Education and workforce

Projects focusing on empowering underserved groups and communities through education and training that enable communities to transition to a smart and connected future.


Emergency management and public safety

Research using edge-computing, sensors, data analytics and novel community engagement methods to build resilient and safe communities.



Research focused on the resilience, sustainability and efficiency of critical energy infrastructure. 


Food security and agriculture

Projects that promote sustainable, resilient agricultural practices and resource management through advancements in sensing, data analytics and other fields. 


Health and wellbeing

Research aimed at leveraging technology to improve health care access and delivery in underserved communities. 


Transportation and personal mobility

Projects that optimize urban mobility and accessibility and reduce traffic congestion through intelligent transportation systems. 


Water management

Projects focused on strengthening critical water infrastructure and improving community resilience to water-related hazards. 


The S&CC program supports collaboration between NSF and other U.S. federal government agencies, as well as international partners, on advancing research in smart communities. These partnerships expand the scope and geography of funded projects and are instrumental in translating research into practical solutions. 

Key partners include: 

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture — Supporting research at the intersection of agricultural science, Big Data, informatics and smart communities. View details about the USDA partnership
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency — Co-funding projects between U.S. and Japanese teams focusing on addressing disaster and pandemic resilience. 
  • Department of Transportation — Co-funding of projects focusing on research in emerging mobility platforms. 

Contact information

To receive program updates, join the S&CC mailing list by emailing listserv@listserv.nsf.gov and including "subscribe SCCINFO" in the body of the email.

For general inquires or to schedule time to speak with an NSF program director, email sccquestions@nsf.gov.