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April 16, 2024 | Tom Ballard

National Science Foundation issues funding opportunity for 10 additional “Regional Innovation Engines”

The call is subject to Congressional appropriations. More organizations now eligible to lead a team.

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced Tuesday a funding opportunity to invest in a new set of “NSF Regional Innovation Engines” (NSF Engines) across the U.S.

The initial NSF Engines announcement, made in January, represented one of the single largest broad investments in place-based research and development in the nation’s history — uniquely placing science and technology leadership as the central driver for regional economic competitiveness. Pending Congressional appropriations, this latest funding opportunity advances the bipartisan priorities outlined in the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022,” which authorized the NSF Engines program.

“This latest NSF Engines funding opportunity represents more forward momentum in establishing a network of flourishing regional technology- and innovation-driven leaders of economic activity throughout the U.S.,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships. “As we have begun to see with the 10 inaugural NSF Engines announced earlier this year, the NSF Engines program is generating robust partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation. We are proud to see that our initial investment has already unlocked more than twice as much in matching commitments from public and private funders.”

In this round of funding, the NSF Engines program is only accepting proposals for full NSF Engines, competing for up to $160 million over 10 years. Proposers will be asked to submit a letter of intent in place of a concept outline and a short preliminary proposal. Also, new to this round of funding is the eligibility of tribal nations and state and local government agencies as the lead organization.

NSF does not require that proposers have an NSF Engines Development Award nor previous support from NSF or other federal agencies. Any organization that meets the eligibility requirements specified in the funding opportunity may apply.

PLetters of intent are due by June 18 by 5 p.m. submitter’s time.

NSF plans a webinar at 2 p.m. EDT April 25. To register, click here.

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