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NSF requests community input on research topics to address societal needs

January 27, 2022

The Convergence Accelerator, a program developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to invest in research towards developing high-impact solutions for societal issues, requests topic ideas for the 2023 cohort in a Dear Colleague Letter Request for Information (DCL/RFI). This program follows a three-tiered process, including topic ideation and convergence research phases one and two. This RFI seeks input from industry, institutions of higher education, non-profits, state and local governments, and other interested parties and represents the beginning stages of topic ideation and precedes community workshops to develop the final convergence research tracks, anticipated in FY 2023.  Of particular interest to NSF are approaches to advance Critical and Emerging Technologies as described in the Multi-Agency Research and Development Priorities for FY 2023.

Past research tracks have reflected NSF’s 10 Big Ideas and have included:

  • Open Knowledge Networks (2019)
  • AI and Future Jobs (2019)
  • Quantum Technology (2020)
  • AI-Driven Innovation via Data and Model Sharing (2020)
  • Networked Blue Economy (2021)
  • Trust and Authenticity in Communications Systems (2021)

Since the program’s inception in 2019, few organizations outside of higher education have advanced to the second phase. In 2021, NSF developed additional funding opportunities to encourage broader participation. NSF released these funding opportunities through two pathways: (1) traditional NSF solicitation, and (2) a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to encourage organizations in industry and non-profit sectors to submit research proposals.

Responses to the RFI are due by Feb. 28. The DCL/RFI for NSF’s Convergence Accelerator is available here.

nsf, rfi, accelerators, research, federal agency r&d