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Inaugural Open-Source Ecosystems awards announced on eve of next competition deadline

October 13, 2022
By: Mark Skinner

On the closing days of the previous federal fiscal year and with an Oct. 21 deadline looming for new proposals, the National Science Foundation announced the first 24 awards for a new program to support “Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems” (OSE). NSF’s goal is to exploit the advantages of using open-source development to find technological solutions to problems of national and societal importance. According to the program’s website, the goal is “to fund new OSE managing organizations, each responsible for the creation and maintenance of infrastructure needed for efficient and secure operation of an OSE based around a specific open-source product or class of products.”

Rather than funding the development of new open-source products, NSF is striving to aid the creation and sustenance of OSE hubs, using a two-phase structure. Twenty-three of the recently announced awards are all $300,000 or less and will support one-year, Phase I conceptual development and planning awards to build OSEs. The final award announced is for a $2 million OSE training and network management program to be run by the University of California-Berkeley.

While hoping to ramp up sustainable ecosystems, Phase II awards will be for $1.5 million but only last two years. From initial appearances, the OSE hubs will be comparable in organizational and management requirements to NSF’s other center programs, which are given longer lead times to attempt sustainability.  Receipt of a Phase I award is not required.

More information on the program is available here. A list of the 23 Phase I OSE is available on the NSF website here. The current solicitation for new Phase I and Phase II proposals closing Oct. 21 is available here.

nsf, funding, awards