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August 02, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Finalists named for Type-2 “Regional Innovation Engines” program

Funded under the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022," the “NSF Engines” program is anticipated to be transformational for the nation.

In an email sent Wednesday, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that its list of 34 semifinalists for one of the Type-2 “Regional Innovation Engines” awards had been reduced to 16 finalists. Five of those finalists are from four Southeastern states, and there is a sixth if you consider Texas to be part of the South.

Funded under the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” the “NSF Engines” program is anticipated to be transformational for the nation, ensuring the U.S. remains globally competitive in key technology areas for decades to come. NSF anticipates announcing the award recipients this winter, with each awardee initially receiving about $15 million for the first two years. Each “NSF Engine” could receive up to $160 million over 10 years with actual amounts subject to a given recipient’s status and overall progress that will be assessed annually.

In making the cut to 16 finalists, NSF assessed each of the 34 semifinalist teams on their proposed leadership’s ability to rapidly mobilize regional assets and partners in an inclusive manner; their competitive advantages; and the budgets and resources for their planned use-inspired and translational research and development as well as workforce development efforts. The finalist teams will be interviewed in person later this summer and fall to assess risks, resources and a given team’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Those that made the finals from the Southeast or South include:

  • Florida – ICAMR Inc. for the “NeoCity Semiconductor Technology Accelerator”;
  • Kentucky – Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation for the “Additive Manufacturing Forward Engine”;
  • Louisiana – Louisiana State University for the “Engine for Louisiana Innovation and Transition of Energy”;
  • North Carolina – Wake Forest University School of Medicine for the “Central Carolina Engine for Innovation in Regenerative Medicine Clinical Manufacturing” initiative and The Industrial Commons for “Creating a Modern, Green and Inclusive Textile Sector;” and
  • Texas –  University of Texas at El Paso for the “Paso del Norte Innovation for Defense and Aerospace Engine.”



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