Senate Passes FY12 "Minibus" Appropriations Bill

The U.S. Senate has passed an FY12 funding bill encompassing appropriations measures for the Department of Agriculture; Commerce, Justice and Science; and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill includes funding for NASA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation, as well as other technology agencies and programs. By combining the separate appropriations bills, the Senate hopes to increase its leverage in conferences with the House. The American Institute of Physics publication FYI has prepared a breakdown of technology-related agency funding in the bill.

NSF Awards $74M for Engineering Research Centers

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that it will award $74 million total for the creation of four interdisciplinary research and education centers as part of the third generation of NSF Engineering Research Centers. In addition to their primary focus on commercialization and education, these centers will emphasize innovation, entrepreneurship, small business collaboration, and international partnerships. For the first time, two of the ERCs will be co-funded by the Department of Energy. One, led by Arizona State University, will investigate quantum energy and sustainable solar technologies. A second at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville will develop more reliable and efficient electricity transmission networks. The other two ERCs will focus on research into urban water infrastructure and mind-machine interface at Stanford University and the University of Washington, respectively.

NSF Awards $27.5M for Social-Environmental Research Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a $27.5 million, five-year grant to the University of Maryland for a multi-disciplinary research center focused on the interplay of human activity and healthy ecosystems. The grant is the largest ever received by the university and will provide funds for research in environmental sciences, public policy, engineering, computer science and economics. Additional funding will be provides by the University of Maryland, College Park, the university's Center for Environmental Science, Resources for the Future (a nonprofit research organization) and the state of Maryland. Read the announcement...

New NSF Program Promises to Boost Commercialization of Academic Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, a public-private partnership, intends to connect NSF-funded scientific research with a project team, made up of professionals from the technological, entrepreneurial and business communities, to help transition NSF-funded scientific and engineering discoveries at institutions of higher education into commercial technologies, products and processes. I-Corps grants will provide financial support to project teams in determining the commercialization potential of the technologies developed through previous or current NSF awards. Each I-Corps team will include a principal investigator, an entrepreneurial lead and an I-Corps mentor. The outcome of each I-Corps funded project will be:

New R+D Dashboard Tracks Federal Science Agency Investments

A new prototype website allows users to track R&D grants and awards from federal agencies. The current version provides publicly reported federal agency data from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health from 2001 to 2010. It also provides output data on patents, patent application and publication. Future updates will integrate the site with all federal agency databases and additional output data. Visit the site...


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