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IEEE Future Directions Funding Opportunities

The IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) seeks to identify, develop, and promote projects that are value-added for IEEE and its members, bringing together multiple Societies and Councils to provide broad and deep perspectives on a particular topic, application, or technology. These projects range from short-term activities to reach a specific goal to Future Directions Initiatives seeking longer-term cross-collaborative engagement among industry, academia, and government striving to develop and deploy various future technologies.

Thank you for your interest in IEEE Future Directions. FDC invites IEEE members to request funding for new projects. Please note the following information to facilitate the processing process of applying for funding: 

Two types of funding are supported by this particular proposal process: 

  1. Seed Funding: Offered for new and innovative projects that have not been formerly funded by IEEE FDC, up to $50,000 USD for fiscal year of proposal 
  2. Graduated Initiative Funding: For former IEEE Future Directions Initiatives that have graduated and are seeking additional funding support, up to $50,000 for fiscal year of proposal.

General Instructions: 

For each section on the proposal form, please provide as much detail as possible. Describe how the funding, if granted, will be spent within the upcoming calendar year. The full allocated amount will be held by Future Directions, e.g., no journal transfers of money will be made. It is anticipated that all expenses will be paid as they are incurred. FDC is particularly interested in the plan for continuation of the project after the FDC funding is completed.

Your request will be assessed by the committee via a scorecard. Considerations include, but are not limited to:

  • Proposal is seen as innovative and of strategic importance to IEEE;
  • Proposal is well thought out and the objectives are well defined and achievable;
  • Projects have potential to generate revenue;
  • Outcomes, impacts, and metrics are clear and measurable;
  • Deliverables are described in a way that concludes in one year or outlines a strong path towards success.

If approved, a member of FDC will be assigned as an advisor. Written status reports are required to be submitted quarterly to FDC.

Specific instructions for the different types of funding are as follows: 

Seed Funding Requests: Requests for initial funding are only accepted for consideration when supported by at least two (2) IEEE societies, councils, or technical communities. Requests outside of a society, council, or technical community are not eligible and will not be accepted.  The limit for seed funding is $50,000 USD for the fiscal year of proposal. 

Note that the approval of FDC funding along with a successful implementation of the project proposal may lead to the potential creation of a Future Directions initiative. 

Graduated Initiative Funding Requests: FDC receives funding by TAB to support initiatives that have graduated from IEEE Future Directions. The objective is to help these graduated initiatives by funding specific projects that are in need of additional support to ensure a more stable transition and continued success. The funding is designated as the Graduated Initiative Fund (GIF).

The specific projects must be activities that are not a part of the IEEE traditional products and services (conferences, education, publications, and standards) and have clear value and benefit across more than one society, council, or technical community. If projects requesting funding are already in progress, please indicate accomplishments and successes that have already been achieved. 

This Microsoft Word template (DOCX, 23 KB) should be used for drafting and revising the project proposal information. This is the exact information that must be entered into the form for funding consideration. Please submit the project information in this Google Form

Past Successful Projects Funded by IEEE FDC: 

IEEE Low-Power Image Recognition Challenge (LPIRC): Many mobile systems (smartphones, electronic glass, autonomous robots) can capture images. These systems use batteries and energy conservation is essential. This challenge aims to discover the best technology in both image recognition and energy conservation. Winners are evaluated based on both high recognition accuracy and low power usage. Image recognition involves many tasks. This challenge focuses on object detection, a basic routine in many recognition approaches.

IEEE Technology Roadmaps Committee (ITRC): The IEEE Technology Roadmaps Committee (ITRC) works to provide guidance and infrastructure to support technology roadmap activities across IEEE. ITRC reports into the IEEE Future Directions Committee. The growing interest in technology roadmaps spans a wide range of IEEE organizational units. ITRC seeks to enable the success of IEEE’s technology roadmap activities by leveraging the expertise of experienced roadmap developers to create tools and templates and document a high-level roadmap development process to assist new roadmaps.

Fog World Congress (FWC): The first conference that brought industry and research together to explore the technologies, challenges, industry deployments and opportunities in fog computing and networking. The FWC provided a seamlessly integrated forum for industry and academia to work together. Interactive sessions provided an unprecedented platform where experts guided interactive roundtable discussions, ran a fog hackathon, and organized workshops to attack specific technical and business issues in selected industrial verticals. There were sessions designed to debate controversial topics such as why and where fog will be necessary, what will happen in a future world without fog, and how fog could disrupt the industry.

IEEE International Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities: For the past few years, smart grids have been the main topic of fervent research and development at both the industrial and academic level. However, all these prospected transformations bring with them numerous challenges and opportunities. In order to address some of these questions, IEEE Smart Grid, in collaboration with Think SmartGrids — the structure assembling smart grid players in France — gathered experts from the energy, telecommunications, and computing sectors for the first IEEE International Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities.

IEEE Environmental Engineering intends to create an interdisciplinary forum for the community interested in the area of environmental engineering; including components in various S/Cs which are using our technologies and methodologies but are not yet embraced by our IEEE communities.