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1) May 3 -- NSF Regional Innovation Engines Broad Agency Announcement (release)

The National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, is seeking regional teams rooted within industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice to catalyze and foster innovation ecosystems across the U.S. to:

Advance critical technologies
Address national and societal challenges
Promote and stimulate economic growth and job creation
Spur sustainable, regional innovation and nurture diverse talent

Launched by the NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP, the NSF Engines program envisions fostering multiple flourishing regional innovation ecosystems across the country, providing a unique opportunity to spur economic growth in regions that have not fully participated in the technology boom of the past few decades. NSF Engines embed a culture of innovation, form coalitions comprising a diverse set of sectors and organizational types—such as small businesses, two-year colleges, and minority-serving institutions—as well as demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
 
The NSF Engines program has published this opportunity as a Broad Agency Announcement, or BAA, providing each selected regional coalition up to $160 million in funding for up to 10+ years.

Researchers and innovators from industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice are encouraged to form regional coalitions and submit proposals.

Release: https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/regional-innovation-engines/updates/funding-opportunity-nsf-regional-innovation

2) May 3 -- NSF Regional Innovation Engines Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

The NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program is a bold new initiative, committed to creating regional-scale, technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the United States, accelerating emerging technologies, driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and maintaining national competitiveness.

The NSF Engines program aims to fund regional coalitions of partnering organizations to establish NSF Engines that will catalyze technology and science-based regional innovation ecosystems. Each Engine must focus on addressing specific aspects of a major societal and/or economic challenge that are of significant interest in the Engine’s defined “region of service,” where such a region could range from a metropolitan area (including its adjacent rural regions) to an area spanning parts of several states. The mission of an Engine must be clearly rooted in regional interests and the development of regional talent. The emphasis on “regions” expresses NSF’s aim to stimulate innovationdriven economic growth within a particular region of service. The NSF Engines program is particularly interested in creating new business and economic growth in those regions of America that have not fully participated in the technology boom of the past several decades.

NSF will fund Engines to carry out an integrated and comprehensive set of activities spanning use-inspired research, translation-to-practice, entrepreneurship, and workforce development to nurture and accelerate regional industries. Engines must also work to bring together an inclusive and diverse network of partners and stakeholders who will participate in the regional innovation ecosystem. With the goal of advancing emerging industries and creating societal and economic value, NSF Engines will emphasize research that meaningfully engages the consumers of research outcomes in motivating that research as well as in the subsequent prototyping and piloting of researchbased solutions (i.e., co-design and co-creation), the translation of research results to practice, entrepreneurship, and direct economic growth.
 
Award Information
The estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. NSF expects to make Type-1 development awards in Winter 2023.

A. Type-1 Awards
Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
Anticipated Number of Awards: The NSF Engines Program anticipates making up to 50 Type1 awards. The actual number of awards made will be dependent upon the availability of funds, quality of the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the BAA’s goals, NSF merit review criteria, and BAA-specific review criteria. The duration of a Type-1 award is up to 24 months and the maximum proposed budget for each Type-1 award must not exceed $1,000,000.

The intent of a Type-1 award is to enable the awardee to lay the groundwork for submitting a successful Type-2 proposal. Therefore, a Type-1 awardee should understand and review expectations of Type-2 projects as part of their award activity. Type-1 awardees will need to reapply independently for Type-2 award, though a Type-1 award is not a pre-requisite to apply for a Type-2 award.   

Type-2 Awards
Anticipated Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
Anticipated Number of Awards: The NSF Engines Program anticipates making five Type-2 awards through this funding opportunity. The actual number of awards made will be dependent upon the availability of funds, quality of the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the BAA’s goals, NSF merit review criteria, and BAA-specific review criteria.

Type-2 awards can receive funding up to 10 years. The initial two years of funding will support a ramp-up period. Continued support for the Engine will be contingent upon the Engine’s overall  erformance, including meeting its annual performance goals and achieving the maturity characteristics expected for its current phase as the Engine matures.

During the ramp-up period, the Engine can be funded for a total of $15,000,000, over two years.
The Engine can be funded at $15,000,000 per year in Years 3-5.
The Engine can be funded at $20,000,000 per year in Years 6-10.
The total amount of a Type-2 award will not exceed $160,000,000 from NSF (over a period not exceeding ten years).

Institution of Higher Education (IHE) partners are expected to address, during the award period, the possibility that traditional methods for evaluating tenure and promotion may not sufficiently value the type of work to be conducted in and outputs from the Engine; IHE partners should define institutional policies to reward faculty for participation in the Engine’s activities that may not lead to traditional academic outcomes such as research publications.

BAA: https://sam.gov/opp/67236a938b4f49c5a582e6c57921e3bc/view

3) Upcoming Webinar: Introduction to the NSF Regional Innovation Engines Program

Join us on May 17 at 1 p.m. EDT to learn about the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program—a bold new initiative that catalyzes and fosters innovation and technology ecosystems across the U.S. to address societal challenges, promote economic growth and job creation, and cultivate regional talent.

During the webinar, attendees will learn about the NSF Engines program model, including program goals, phases of Engine development, proposal and award requirements, and award types.

https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/regional-innovation-engines/updates/upcoming-webinar-introduction-nsf-regional

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