UC San Diego and FIU Top NSF 6G Grants; Ohio State Leads Funding

June 7, 2023

Written by Caio Castro
CATEGORY: Exclusives
TAGS: 6G, USA, research, NSF

UC San Diego and Florida International University (FIU) have received the most National Science Foundation (NSF) awards for 6G-specific research in the United States over the past six years. Both were granted funding for five projects each, according to data analysis performed by 6GWorld.

The statistics were gathered from NSF’s database and filtered by keywords (more about the methodology at the end of the article).

Overall, according to the NSF, 90 institutions have received a grant. Nine projects have more than one university working together. The total amount invested surpassed $53 million.

6G Research Across the US

While UC San Diego and FIU were awarded five grants each, seven other universities received funding for three projects. Nine institutions have two awards each.

These 18 institutions account for 20% of all 6G-specific grants – the remaining 80% received one each (see the graph below).

The situation changes when we consider the total amount of funding. From this angle, Ohio State University leads the pack with $11.8 million in grants for three 6G research projects. The gap between Ohio and the others is significant: UC San Diego, the second most funded, gathered $4.9 million.

New York University, Northeastern University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder wrap up the top five. The following graph shows how the funding is distributed across institutions.

Those universities are still among the top 50 funded institutions in the US when considering investment from other federal and private sources. Although it does not contemplate only 6G research, the report Higher Education Research and Development, issued by NSF, breaks down expenditures by fields.

According to the latest edition (Fiscal Year 2021), the University of California San Diego received $81.2 million in funding for electronic and communications engineering R&D. The figure puts the institution in 5th place.

Northeastern sits in 20th place with $32.9 million spent. Ohio State University is the 25th ($25.4 million), followed by New York University in 41st ($14.5 million), and the University of Colorado in 48th place ($12.3 million).


The data was gathered and analysed in May 2023 and downloaded from NSF’s official website. For this study, 6GWorld considered only projects explicitly mentioning 6G as the inspiration or beneficiary of research in the abstract.

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