NSF Aims to Bring Science Innovations to Market
ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 4, 2011 — The National Science Foundation has announced a program aimed at helping develop scientific and engineering discoveries into useful technologies, products and processes.
The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, a public-private partnership, will connect NSF-funded scientific research with technological, entrepreneurial and business communities to help create a stronger national ecosystem for innovation that couples scientific discovery with technology development and societal needs.
With the awards, the I-Corps initiative will strategically identify nascent concepts and leverage NSF’s investment in basic research for technology innovation. To do so will require a public-private partnership.
Members of the private sector will provide critical support to the effort by sharing their knowledge and experience with NSF and I-Corps awardees. These technology developers, business leaders, venture capitalists and others from private industry will act as I-Corps mentors. These mentor volunteers will be critical nodes to the network of expertise that will enhance the I-Corps awardees’ ability to transform their scientific and engineering results into potentially successful technologies. The program initially will support up to 100 projects per year, at $50,000 a project.
Over a period of six months, each I-Corps team, composed of the principal investigator, a mentor and an entrepreneurial lead, will systematically identify and address knowledge gaps to ascertain the technology disposition: What resources will be required? What are the competing technologies? What value will this innovation add?
In addition, the program will pilot innovative merit review processes through which promising discoveries emerging from NSF-funded research projects will be identified quickly and efficiently for financial support as well as for mentorship through the national network.
I-Corps also will provide students with opportunities to learn about and participate in the process of transforming scientific and engineering discoveries into innovative technologies.
For more information, visit: www.nsf.gov
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