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NSF Awards $68M for New Engineering Centers

October 10, 2003

Storm prediction, extreme ultraviolet light, clean chemical manufacturing, and implantable electronics for treating incurable diseases — all of the above will be tackled by four new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) last week. The new centers will receive a $68 million from NSF over the next five years.

Each center, to be based at a university, will function as a collaborative partnership. The maximum possible duration of NSF support is 10 years, after which the ERCs are expected to become self-sufficient.

NSF will provide roughly $17 million to each center over the next five years, with each center focusing on a specific area:

  • Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Science and Technology (EUV ERC), headquartered at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, will develop short-wavelength, optical measurement instrumentation to further nanoscience and nanotechnology research.
  • Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC), headquartered at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, will develop environmentally benign catalytic processes to reduce pollution from the manufacture of chemicals.
  • Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), headquartered at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will develop sensing networks and information systems to improve the detection, understanding and prediction of severe storms and other atmospheric hazards, with the goal of ultimately saving lives and reducing property loss. And,
  • Engineering Research Center for Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems (BMES), headquartered at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, will develop enhanced microelectronic systems to enable implantable devices to treat blindness, paralysis and loss of cognitive function.

Including the new awards, NSF supports 24 ERCs in the fields of bioengineering, earthquake engineering, design, manufacturing and product development systems, and microelectronic systems and information technology. Each of the new centers is described more fully in NSF's press release: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/pr03115.htm