WILBERFORCE — Central State University has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to begin the groundwork for the school to become a competitive research institution.

The grant will bring together the expertise of several faculty members to develop a “sharable self-optimizing and cooperative control cyber sensors network platform” — which could be used, for example, to quickly alert police to a robbery based on video footage showing key behaviors that indicate suspicious activity, said Kimberly Kendricks, associate professor of mathematics at Central State.

A second application would bring together information from different sources to track environmental phenomenon, Kendricks said.

The grant is part of Central State’s effort to establish a Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology or similar research center in two years.

“This research project will strengthen the research credentials of our university’s faculty, as well as the resources and facilities of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) departments,” Kendricks said.

The platform project brings together researchers at Central State who have been working independently, and along with Kendricks the project includes Yu Liang, assistant professor of computer science, and Xiaofang Wei, assistant professor of GIS, Remote Sensing.

“We can help each other’s research by collaborating,” Kendricks said.