NSF Launches $9.5M Opportunity to Support NSF Innovation Engines

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April 27, 2023 — The U.S. National Science Foundation is seeking one or more organizations to develop, launch and run a Builder Platform to support the anticipated NSF Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, awardees. The NSF Engines program  is designed to catalyze and fosters innovation ecosystems across the U.S. to advance critical technologies, such as semiconductors, AI, advanced wireless and biotechnology, address pressing national and societal challenges and cultivate partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society and communities of practice, among other goals.

The Builder Platform announced today and its leadership team will develop ecosystems around and across NSF Engines locations, connecting awardees with each other and a 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.

To apply, NSF invites submission of an application and supporting documents by June 12, 2023. To learn more about the Builder Platform effort, review the Builder Platform solution offering.

Organizations that have helped entities build their networks, develop cross-sector partnerships, and quickly and sustainably scale are encouraged to apply.NSF invites interested organizations to register to attend a webinar (register here) about the Builder Platform on May 8, 2023, from 3:30 – 5:00 ET.

“To grow and succeed, regional innovation ecosystems require intentional and customizable support,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF assistant director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. “NSF’s investment in the Builder Platform will ensure that each NSF Engine is able to get what it needs, when it needs it, providing structured support for diverse talent, multifaceted technologies and inclusive regional ecosystems for years to come.”

­­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.
  • Startup and venture studios.
  • State, local and tribal governments or economic development and workforce development agencies.
  • Organizations focused on translating cutting edge, use-inspired research.
  • Community-based organizations.