New $20 million program promotes capacity building to broaden participation in regional innovation ecosystems

December 8, 2022

Participating institutions will receive training and support to potentially connect to NSF Engines

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity, or EPIIC, a new $20 million program encouraging minority-serving institutions, two-year institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, and other emerging research institutions to participate in regional innovation ecosystems. The program will provide training and networking support to help build more inclusive ecosystems.

EPIIC will provide up to $400,000 over three years to develop the capacity and institutional knowledge needed to build new partnerships and secure future external funding, enabling awardees to tap into their regional innovation ecosystems and potentially into an NSF Regional Innovation Engine, or NSF Engine for short.

"NSF strives to inspire broad networks of partners to work together to train the next generation of skilled American workers," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "This program will build capacity for innovation partnerships across the country and create opportunities for more inclusive participation in entrepreneurships, startups and other commercialization activities that are vital to the U.S. research and innovation enterprise."

The NSF Engines program seeks to grow inclusive innovation ecosystems nationwide. The program recognizes that many institutions, including minority-serving institutions, small academic institutions, and two-year institutions, stand to benefit from additional focused support for the infrastructure and resources needed to grow external partnerships and tap into innovation ecosystems, including engaging with NSF Engines. 

Through EPIIC, institutions will participate in interactive virtual and in-person events to form cohorts and collaboratively develop impactful approaches to improve the institutions' capacity to engage in cross-sector partnerships. Participating institutions will develop strategies to advance efforts in workforce development, use-inspired research and development, and the translation of research results to practice in emerging technology areas such as advanced manufacturing, advanced wireless, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, and semiconductors and microelectronics.

To learn more, read the EPIIC funding opportunity or join an introductory webinar on January 13, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. E.T. 

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