Summary and Info
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the leading sponsor of basic academic research in engineering, and its influence far exceeds its budget. We think NSF is at its best when it uses that influence to focus interest within the researcher community on critical new challenges and technologies. NSF's Scalable Enterprise Systems (SES) initiative, for which we were responsible in our successive terms in the division of Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation (DMII), was just such a venture. A collaborative effort spanning NSF's engineering and computer science directorates, SES sought to concentrate the energies of the academic engineering research community on developing a science base for designing, planning and controlling the extended, spatially and managerially distributed enterprises that have become the norm in the manufacture, distribution and sale of the products of U. S. industry. The of associated issues addressed included everything from management supply chains, to product design across teams of collaborating companies, to e-marketing and make-to-order manufacturing, to the information technology challenges of devising inter-operable planning and control tools that can scale with exploding enterprise size and scope. A total of 27 teams with nearly 100 investigators were selected from the 89 submitted proposals in the Phase I, exploratory part of the effort (see the list below). Seven of these were awarded larger multi-year grants to continue their research in Phase II. As the contents of this book amply illustrate, these investigations continue to flourish, with and without direct NSF support.