NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program - Mission Critical Voice Test Equipment

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division, housed within the NIST Communications Technology Laboratory, conducts research for the first responder community. In 2012, NIST was mandated by Congress1 to, among other things, “accelerate the development of mission critical voice for the nationwide public safety broadband network”. PSCR conducted extensive stakeholder engagement starting in 2013 to address the requirements of the legislation, including hosting two roundtable events in 2016 and 2017 focused on Mission Critical Voice (MCV) with stakeholders from public safety, government, and industry. In addition to funding internal research addressing these areas, in 2017 the PSIAP awarded $14M for nine grants and cooperative agreements to address aspects related to the MCV portfolio goals. Specific areas of these awards include research into MCPTT and Device-todevice (D2D) functionality. Outcomes of these awards include the creation of a commercial grade MCPTT application server, MCPTT Android applications, and development of the full Proximity Services (ProSe) Sidelink protocol stack. More information about the MCV portfolio, PSIAP, and PSCR can be found at .

The intent of this NOFO is to produce test equipment and code required to test communications devices for MCPTT and related public safety features such as Mission Critical Data (MCData) and Mission Critical Video (MCVideo). 

Award recipients will help achieve this by producing test equipment and associated code that supports the 3GPP-created test cases for MCPTT and, optionally, MCData and MCVideo. The test equipment and associated code that supports public safety features will enable the industry testing labs to start testing public safety features. The projects can include the participation in 3GPP to help translate existing public safety feature test cases into the TTCN code, edit existing test cases, and create new public safety feature test cases. Award recipients, after the conclusion of the award period, will have the ability to market and sell the outputs of their funded projects.

Additionally, award recipients will have the opportunity in the future to compete for a second award to further develop their test equipment and code to incorporate offnetwork requirements for 3GPP Release 13, 14, and beyond. 

NIST will only consider one application per applicant; however, an applicant entity may be proposed as a sub-recipient, contractor, or unfunded collaborator within applications submitted by other entities.

  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 19, 2019
  • Sponsor Deadline: July 19, 2019

If the internal deadline has passed and you are interested in this opportunity, please email to find out if it is still open.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

: This NOFO is open to all non-Federal entities. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, state and local governments, Indian tribes, hospitals, foreign public entities, and foreign governments. Please note that individuals and unincorporated sole proprietors are not considered “non-Federal entities” and are not eligible to apply under this NOFO.



Amount Description

In FY2019, NIST anticipates funding awards in the range of approximately $500,000 to $2,000,000 per year with project performance periods of up to 2 years. Total funding for this program is anticipated to be approximately $12,000,000.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
CV or Biosketch of project leader
Project summary - 2 to 4 pages

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Internal Deadline

June 19, 2019

External Deadline

July 19, 2019