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NSF solicits proposals for $20M program to broaden participation in innovation ecosystems

Recognizing that innovation ecosystems require broad networks of partners working together and knowing that many institutions of higher education (IHEs) lack the research capacity to be able to participate in external partnerships, the NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships invites proposals from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year institutions with limited or no research capacity to apply for the support necessary to become equitable partners with teams competing under the current and subsequent NSF Engines program funding opportunities.

NSF builds semiconductor workforce through concurrent Micron and Intel partnerships

In an effort to alleviate the nationwide shortage of semiconductors, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced two cross-sector partnerships, one with Intel Corp. and the other partnership with Micron Technology, Inc. NSF plans to invest $10 million in combination with the companies from each partnership in support of research, education, infrastructure building, and workforce development for semiconductor design and manufacturing.

NSF awards $40 million to help build diverse STEM workforce

The National Science Foundation recently announced the four 2022 NSF INCLUDES awardees. These new alliances will each receive $10 million over five years to contribute to building an inclusive STEM workforce. The awardees will tackle issues like increasing data science capacity at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), increasing the representation of Native American and Alaska Native students in STEM fields, and supporting equitable pathways to postdoctoral fellowship positions.

NSF announces new $30M program to grow the nation’s STEM workforce

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced a new initiative — the Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) initiative and seeks proposals to address barriers in the STEM workforce by encouraging partnerships among industry, educational, and government organizations. The program estimates giving out 25 to 35 ExLENT awards that will last up to three years with a total budget of up to $1,000,000, with a total anticipated funding amount of $30 million. This initiative is part of a larger effort to expand the STEM workforce needed to solve significant societal challenges like climate change and clean energy and address rapidly evolving emerging technologies.

2020 BERD data shows an increase of over $45 billion in domestic R&D spending

Despite COVID-induced setbacks continuing to keep some people out of offices and laboratories, new Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (BERD) data reveals that domestic research and development (R&D) spending, although slowing, is still on an uptrend. From 2018 to 2019, business R&D spending increased by 11.8% (from approximately $441 billion to $492 billion), with new data showing a further increase of 9.1% from 2019 to 2020 ($492 billion to $538 billion).

NSF Engines program revises deadline, directions for Type-2 proposals

The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program has revised the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Type-2 NSF Engines program proposals, moving the deadline up to Jan. 18, 2023, among other changes, which are detailed in the revised BAA and key related resource documents that were published on Oct. 17, 2022. NSF added new preparation and content requirements, along with requirements for a Region of Service map and Mandatory Disclosure document. The NSF Engines is a new program intended to foster innovation ecosystems across the U.S. through partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, and others. More information is available here.

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

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.”

Study indicates racial bias in NSF grant funding

A group of seven researchers analyzed upwards of one million National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals over a 23-year period (1996-2019) and found patterns of racialized disparities where white principal investigators (PIs) were consistently funded at higher rates (8+ percent) than most non-white PIs. The preprint study (not peer reviewed) states that similar patterns can be observed in other agencies and are consistent with other past studies as well. The question of whether systemic racism is at play in the NSF peer review and award selection process is even more pronounced when one considers more specific demographics such as Black and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander PIs.

Four new NSF Engineering Research Centers announced

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced four new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) that will focus on agriculture, health, manufacturing and smart cities. The research centers will receive $104 million over five years and will be aimed at finding more sustainable solutions to food production, autonomous manufacturing systems, human health and the built environment, and hyperlocal street technology. The four research centers are: 

NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program releases info on all concept outlines, sets Type-2 award deadlines

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is breaking with tradition this week and for the first time released application data before it formally accepts applications for the NSF Engines program, which will provide up to $160 million of funding for up to 10+ years to establish each regional-scale innovation ecosystem Engine. The nearly 700 concept outlines have been published to help submitters in preparing successful proposals, with the belief that the applications and subsequent Engines will be strengthened if applicants are able to find one another and collaborate. NSF has also announced the Type-2 award deadlines for the Regional Innovation Engines program.

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