NSF and EDA sign MOU to coordinate work on regional innovation programs

The "CHIPS and Science Act" authorizes both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to implement programs to enable regional technology development and economic and job growth through NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) and EDA Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hubs) programs. To officially enable cooperation between the two agencies as they pursue these similar goals, NSF and EDA signed a memorandum of understanding MOU. The MOU allows for coordinating specific projects, programs, and facilities. The coordination may include research and education activities, facilities, centers, data infrastructure and outreach.

Public will have quicker and easier access to federally funded research results

Over the last month, the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released plans for complying with a 2022 White House policy that requires scientific papers resulting from federally funded research to be freely available upon publication, sunsetting the current one-year embargo period by 2025.

NSF expands its advanced materials network with nine new centers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is expanding a network of research centers across the country to translate university-based R&D into new, and hopefully, better advanced materials. In late June, NSF announced the distribution of $162 million to support the creation of nine more Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers (MRSECs), bringing the total number of centers to twenty. Each of the new centers will receive $18 million over six years.

NIST plans to increase public access to federally funded research results

NIST has released a plan to make its scientific data and publications more readily available and accessible, following a memo from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) instructing all government agencies to do so. NIST has presented its plan in its June 30 Draft for Public Comment, now open for comment. Comments may be submitted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 14 here.

NSF selects 34 semifinalists for the inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition

On June 14, 2023, NSF announced 34 semifinalists for the first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) competition. The NSF Engines will be led by universities, nonprofits, businesses, and other organizations from across U.S. states and territories. Each NSF Engine could receive up to $160 million over 10 years; actual amounts will be subject to a given NSF Engine's status and overall progress, as assessed annually. Congratulations to the SSTI members that are finalists—including FuzeHub, Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation, Louisiana State University, Ohio State University, Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative (Innosphere) and Virginia Tech—and the many members participating as partners across the awards.

Type 1 recipient shares four elements to their successful NSF Engine proposal

NSF designed the recently awarded NSF Engine Type 1 development awards to bring technology-based solutions to bear on many critical challenges facing our nation. These challenges include climate change and sustainability, and this week we are highlighting three SSIT members whose NSF Engine proposals focus on sustainability. SSTI member-led projects related to sustainability include the University of Texas at Austin’s project to research and develop energy and train the next-generation energy professionals (SSTI member Sandia National Laboratories is on this team), The Water Council’s project to advance water and energy technologies for the manufacturing and utilities sectors (SSTI member Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is a partner), and the University of Hawai’i’s project to create a climate-resilient food innovation network.

NSF Engines muster local resources to compete with Silicon Valley and Boston

The recently awarded NSF Engine Type 1 development awards are intended to bring technology-based economic development to vast swaths of the US landscape, including those that Silicon Valley and Boston have long overshadowed. This week we kick off an examination of some of the proposals led by SSTI members that were selected by NSF for funding.

Institutions with limited federal funding have new access to R&D programs

Despite Carnegie Classification as an R2 institution, Northern Illinois University (NIU) and other similar universities do not qualify for existing R&D capacity-building initiatives targeting Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) states or minority-serving institutions (MSIs). In a recent article, Northern Illinois University administrators defended the necessity for a new designation for federal agencies to use to prioritize R&D funding for institutions such as NIU.

National Science Foundation makes 44 Engines Development awards

This morning, NSF announced 44 development, or Type-1, awards from its first Regional Innovation Engines competition. According NSF’s visualization, 33 of the lead organizations are from academic institutions, with 13 of those from institutions that are not classified as R1s, and the remaining 11 leads from other types of nonprofits. The Type-1 awards provide up to $1 million over two years for the partners to work toward strengthening their regional innovation ecosystems, with an eye toward developing a stronger Type-2 proposal in the future. Congratulations to the SSTI members that received awards as lead organizations—including Emory University, Kansas State University, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Hawaii, University of Nevada Reno, University of South Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, Washington University in St. Louis, The Water Council—and the many members participating as partners across the awards.

Useful Stats: 10-year analysis of NSF EPSCoR state HERD, FY 2012-2021

The objective of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is to help states receiving the least amount of federal research and development (R&D) funds within their postsecondary institutions improve their competitiveness for federal grants and awards. A measure of EPSCoR's effectiveness, then, is whether or not the state's academic research enterprise is capturing a larger share of federal R&D expenditures. This article utilizes data from the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, analyzing the total and federal HERD dollars for the 25 current EPSCoR eligible states compared to those not eligible, finding: 1) EPSCoR states are not receiving proportionately more federal HERD dollars and 2) EPSCoR states have an extremely large variation of total HERD dollars between states, inclusive of both the highest grossing states as well as all three states experiencing a decrease.


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