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National Science Foundation: Building Innovation Capacity

Deadline: October 14, 2016

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with a least one industry partner. In this program, there is a heavy emphasis on the quality, composition, and participation of the partners, including their appropriate contributions. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered service system with the potential to achieve transformational benefits, satisfying a real need by making an existing service system smart(er) or by spurring the creation of an entirely new smart service system. The selected service system should function as a test bed.

Service systems are socio-technical configurations of people, technologies, organizations, and information designed to create value by fulfilling the needs of those participating in the system. A “smart” service system is a system that amplifies or augments human capabilities to identify, learn, adapt, monitor and make decisions. The system utilizes data received, transmitted, or processed in a timely manner, thus improving its response to future situations. These capabilities are the result of the incorporation of technologies for sensing, actuation, coordination, communication, control, etc.

PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental/ translational space; the proposers must be mindful of the state of the art and the competitive landscape. However, a clear path to commercialization does not need to be a central part of this proposal. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system, incorporating human factors considerations to assure the system’s efficacy. The research tasks in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.

Amount: A total of $10,000,000 is available to make up to 10 awards, ranging up to $1,000,000. The award duration is three years.

Eligibility: 1) U.S. universities and two-and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the U.S., acting on behalf of their faculty members; and 2) nonprofit, non-academic organizations, including independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16591/nsf16591.htm

Note: The Letter of Intent deadline is October 14, 2016 and is required for this competition. The full proposal deadline is in November 2016.

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