Sponsor:  National Science Foundation (NSF)

Sponsor Program Solicitation: NSF 12-578
Funding Amount: $800,000/yr
Duration: 3 years

Status of this Limited Submission Opportunity

Closed - Submitting PI: 1) Marc Meyer (DMSB) and Joe Ayers (MES); 2) Vince Harris (ECE) and Sanjeev Mukerjee (Chem)


NU Pre-Proposal Deadline: 09/18/2013
Sponsor Deadline: 01/27/2014
Letter of Intent Deadline: 11/18/2013

Eligibility and Nomination Requirements

This opportunity is still open. If you are considering a submission,  please contact Horst Wittmann (x3836) as early as possible.

Proposals may only be submitted by U.S. universities and two-and four-year colleges (including community and technical colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the U.S., acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions. The lead (submitting) organization must be an academic institution. Collaborative proposals between organizations are not permitted. (A collaborative proposal is defined as simultaneous proposal submissions for a joint project from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award)The PI cannot concurrently be a PI on more than one active Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity award. A PI who submits a proposal in response to this program solicitation may not submit a proposal for funding consideration in the same fiscal year to the Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research- Technology Translation program. Academic institutions are limited to participation on two (2) proposals as a lead institution. A lead academic institution that has submitted a proposal has the option to participate as a sub-awardee on any other proposal submitted under this solicitation. Lead academic institutions that have submitted a proposal may also provide consultants to other proposals submitted under this solicitation.  A minimum of one (1) industry partner of any size is required. This partner must be U.S.-based and have commercial revenues including sales, services, and licensing.

Eligible applicant institutions may not submit more than two applications as the sole or lead institution. There are no limitations on the number of inter-institutional partnerships an institution may establish. An applicant may be the lead institution on one application and be non-leading partner or consortium member on another.

Funding Areas

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner, to collaborate in building technological and human innovation capacity. This innovation capacity is intended to endure beyond the initial award. Partnerships that build the capacity to innovate are expected to be effective at innovating and able to continue to innovate. They are highly intentional about creating an environment that fosters innovation. These partnerships not only develop new technology but also foster the development of human capital that embraces a culture of change, nurtures the generation of new ideas, and considers feedback an integral part of the innovation processes. Partnership members are diverse, representing a spectrum of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. Partnership activities that drive sustained innovation include the targeted allocation of resources such as capital, time, facilities; and sharing of knowledge in a cross-organizational and interdisciplinary context.

The PFI:BIC partnership team should focus on technological innovations with potential for significant economic/societal impact. The team collaborates on research, focusing on novel applications motivated by existing research discoveries and based on a platform technology with the potential to achieve transformational change in existing service systems or to spur entirely new service systems. To attain this goal, these partnerships, which inherently require interdisciplinary research, must address what is needed to advance this technology so as to enable a “smart” service system or systems to enter into the commercialization process, succeed in the marketplace, and achieve positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Such advancement involves not only engineering, computer science, and other fields of science, but also an understanding of the potential interaction of the technology with customers and the broader public affected by the technology, the “socio-technical system.” A full understanding of the socio-technical system will require interdisciplinary teams that include social, behavior, and/or cognitive sciences. Finally, the team should demonstrate an understanding of potential commercial applications and markets, which should contribute to guiding the project activities.

Examples of technology applied to service systems include smart healthcare, smart cities, on-demand transportation, precision agriculture, smart infrastructure, and other technologies enabling self-service and customized service solutions.

WEBINARS: Webinars will be held to answer questions about the solicitation. Register on the BIC website where details will be posted (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/pfi/bic.jsp). In addition to potential applicants and their partners, Vice Presidents for Research and academic personnel concerned with the review of their institutions’ selection of candidates for submission as well as individuals from Sponsored Research Offices are encouraged to attend.