• SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference - December 3-5 in Salt Lake City

    The agenda and brochure are now online for SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference: Navigating the New Innovation Landscape. Join your peers for conversations around emerging challenges and opportunities related to science, tech, innovation & entrepreneurship. 

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

NSF commits $80 million to four ERCs

September 21, 2017

For 32 years, the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) program of the National Science Foundation has provided long-term funding for university-industry-government collaborations focused on addressing specific, complex engineering challenges. The program can be an integral part of a state’s strategy to encourage stronger partnerships among universities and private industry. On September 12, NSF announced $80 million in funding for four more multidisciplinary centers, bringing the total number of ERCs funded since 1985 to 74.

The four new ERCs, which may receive NSF funding for up to ten years, are:

Fuel derived from shale gas
The NSF Engineering Research Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) will develop technologies for responsible conversion of light hydrocarbons from shale gas into fuels and chemicals using a network of portable, modular processing plants. Led by Purdue University in partnership with the University of New Mexico, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Texas at Austin, CISTAR could enable lower carbon emissions and improved energy efficiency, and provide a viable bridge to a sustainable energy future.

Therapies based on living cells
The NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) will develop tools and technologies for the consistent and low-cost production of high-quality living therapeutic cells. Such cells could be used in a broad range of life-saving medical therapies now emerging from research laboratories. Led by the Georgia Institute of Technology in partnership with the University of Georgia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Puerto Rico, the CMaT ERC could revolutionize the treatment of cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and other disorders by enabling the use of therapies that utilize immune cells, stem cells and other types of living cells.

Personalized heart tissue
The NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Cellular Metamaterials (CELL-MET) aims to transform cardiovascular care by synthesizing breakthroughs in nanotechnology and manufacturing with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. These breakthroughs could revolutionize our ability to grow large, multi-functional sections of heart and other human tissues. The CELL-MET ERC will be led by Boston University in partnership with the University of Michigan and Florida International University.

Health systems for underserved populations
The NSF Engineering Research Center for Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP) will develop cost-effective technologies and systems at the point-of-care to improve healthcare access for underserved populations. Many U.S. communities have higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, because healthcare services are unavailable. Health monitoring systems could be seamlessly integrated into people's lives, building on fundamental research to link biomarkers with behavior and optimize medical treatments. The PATHS-UP ERC will be led by Texas A&M University in partnership with the University of California at Los Angeles, Rice University and Florida International University.

nsf, ERC, research