Deadlines
  • LOI: 09/08/2016
  • Proposal: 10/11/2016

Funding

  • Amount: up to $200,000
  • Duration: 18 months

Scope

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) invites requests for funding under the Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research- Technology Translation (PFI: AIR-TT) solicitation. The PFI: AIR-TT solicitation serves as an early opportunity to move previously NSF-funded research results with promising commercial potential along the path toward commercialization. Projects are supported to demonstrate proof-of-concept, prototype, or scale-up while engaging faculty and students in entrepreneurial/innovative thinking.

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) is an umbrella for two complementary subprograms, Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) and Building Innovation Capacity (BIC). Overall, the PFI program offers opportunities to connect new knowledge to societal benefit through translational research efforts and/or partnerships that encourage, enhance and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship.

This PFI: AIR-TT solicitation is aimed at advancing knowledge along this continuum for projects with technology innovation(s) that has already passed the basic research phase. The proposed project should be into the proof-of concept or early prototype phase with promising results and an identified potential market need or application. The proposed research should address the next stage technology/knowledge gap(s) or barrier(s) that must be solved/demonstrated as part of the path from the basic research discovery to eventual successful commercialization.

In addition to the PI, there must be at least one other participant on the project (e.g., someone listed as a co-PI, Senior Personnel, Other Professional, subawardee, consultant, collaborator, etc.) with explicit business experience (for example, someone from the technology transfer office, the business school, a local/regional development office, a business entity, etc.). This person must have an active role that is explicitly described along with the specification of a time commitment on the project.

The expectation is that over the course of the project, the “participant with explicit business experience” will lead the effort to advance the team’s understanding of the business aspects of the project alongside the team’s technical advances.

This solicitation is not intended to fund efforts directed toward only market research or commercialization activities; the commercial development of existing products or proven concepts; straightforward engineering design for packaging; incremental existing product or process improvements; the evolutionary optimization of existing products; or evolutionary modifications to broaden the scope of an existing product or application.

A webinar will be held the end of July or early August, 2016 to answer any questions about this solicitation. Details will be posted on the IIP website (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/pfi/air-tt.jsp) as they become available.

Contact:

Barbara H. Kenny, Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-4667, email: bkenny@nsf.gov

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

No person may participate as the PI for more than one proposal submitted to any submission window of this PFI: AIR-TT solicitation.

Lineage Requirement: There are two paths to meet the lineage requirement: through NSF-supported research results, or NSF-supported (National I-CorpsTM) customer discovery results

  1. Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-PI must have had an NSF award that ended no more than 6-years prior to the chosen submission window’s full proposal deadline date or be a current NSF award recipient. The proposed proof-of-concept or prototype/ scale-up must be derived from the research results and/or discoveries from this underlying NSF award -OR-
  1. The Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-PI must have graduated as part of an NSF cohort from an NSF-funded National I- CorpsTM program within the past 3 years. The proposed proof-of-concept or prototype/ scale-up must be based on technology for which customer discovery activities were performed under the I- CorpsTM national training. In other words, it is not sufficient to just have had I- CorpsTM training; rather the customer discovery activities performed under the NSF-funded I- CorpsTM grant need to be based on the technology that is proposed to be translated within the AIR-TT proposal.

Note: a proposal describing sole lineage to any of the following programs is not allowed and may be returned without review: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), PFI: AIR-TT, PFI: AIR-RA, Regional I-CorpsTM, and SBIR/STTR.

The PI must be a faculty member at a U.S. academic / research institution at the time of the award.

In addition to the PI, there must be at least one other participant on the project (e.g., someone listed as a co-PI, Senior Personnel, Other Professional, subawardee, consultant, collaborator, etc.) with explicit business experience (for example, someone from the technology transfer office, the business school, a local/regional development office, a business entity, etc.). This person must have an active role that is explicitly described along with the specification of a time commitment on the project.