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May 03, 2023 | Tom Ballard

NSF soliciting organization to launch, run its Builder Platform

The three-year, $9.5 million contract will support recipients selected for the new "NSF Regional Innovation Engines" program to build innovation hubs.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking one or more organizations to develop, launch and run a Builder Platform to support the anticipated “NSF Regional Innovation Engines.”

The contract is expected to be $9.5 million and will support awardees who will, in turn, be focused on catalyzing and fostering innovation ecosystems within their geographic areas of the U.S.

According to the recent announcement, the three-year Builder Platform contract will be a central component of the NSF Engines program, “functioning as a human-centered network of support structures and offerings that will empower the NSF Engines with the tools, skills, networks, and access to capital needed to thrive and attain success. The NSF Engines program fosters and develops diverse regional coalitions to advance technologies to address pressing national and societal challenges and create economic growth and new jobs in communities across the U.S.

NSF anticipates funding its first NSF Engines awards in 2023.

The Builder Platform and its leadership team will develop ecosystems around and across NSF Engines locations, connecting awardees with each other and creating curated entry points for corporations, philanthropists, investors, and other constituents who want to work with NSF Engines. While the platform team may use technology to build communities and connect awardees, the goals, and activities are much broader than just developing a technology solution.

­­The team running the platform will be responsible for providing the tailored support networks and offerings needed by and vital to the growth of individual NSF Engines. The platform team will have the ability to flex in several areas, working hands-on with awardees and connecting awardees to potential cross-sector partners and talent critical to their success.

NSF is especially interested in organizations with experience in supporting/partnering with:

  • Early-stage entrepreneurial ecosystems;
  • Start-up and venture studios;
  • State, local and tribal governments or economic development and workforce development agencies;
  • Organizations focused on translating cutting-edge, use-inspired research; and
  • Community-based organizations.

The deadline to apply is June 12.

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