Internal Notification of Interest Deadline to the Office of Research Administration: Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 5:00 pm.
NSF Proposal Submission Deadline: January 13, 2021
Synopsis of the Program:
The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.
PFI has five broad goals, as set forth by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (“the Act”, S.3084 — 114th Congress; Sec. 602. Translational Research Grants): (1) identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization; (2) supporting prior or current NSF-sponsored investigators, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education in undertaking proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF-sponsored research and have potential market value; (3) promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF-funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology; (4) developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry; (5) providing professional development, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.
In addition, PFI responds to the mandate set by Congress in Section 601(c)(3) of the Act (Follow-on Grants), to support prototype or proof-of-concept development work by participants, including I-Corps participants, with innovations that because of the early stage of development are not eligible to participate in a Small Business Innovation Research Program or a Small Business Technology Transfer Program.
Finally, PFI seeks to implement the mandate set by Congress in Section 102(c)(a) of the Act (Broader Impacts Review Criterion Update) by enhancing partnerships between academia and industry in the United States, and expanding the participation of women and individuals from underrepresented groups in innovation, technology translation, and entrepreneurship.
This solicitation offers two broad tracks for proposals in pursuit of the aforementioned goals:
The Technology Translation (PFI-TT) track offers the opportunity to translate prior NSF-funded research results in any field of science or engineering into technological innovations with promising commercial potential and societal impact. PFI-TT supports commercial potential demonstration projects for academic research outputs in any NSF-funded science and engineering discipline. This demonstration is achieved through proof-of-concept, prototyping, technology development and/or scale-up work. Concurrently, students and postdoctoral researchers who participate in PFI-TT projects receive education and leadership training in innovation and entrepreneurship. Successful PFI-TT projects generate technology-driven commercialization outcomes that address societal needs.
The Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) track seeks to achieve the same goals as the PFI-TT track by supporting instead complex, multi-faceted technology development projects that are typically beyond the scope of a single researcher or institution and require a multi-organizational, interdisciplinary, synergistic collaboration. A PFI-RP project requires the creation of partnerships between academic researchers and third-party organizations such as industry, non-academic research organizations, federal laboratories, public or non-profit technology transfer organizations or other universities. Such partnerships are needed to conduct applied research on a stand-alone larger project toward commercialization and societal impact. In the absence of such synergistic partnership, the project’s likelihood for success would be minimal.
The intended outcomes of both PFI-TT and PFI-RP tracks are: a) the commercialization of new intellectual property derived from NSF-funded research outputs; b) the creation of new or broader collaborations with industry (including increased corporate sponsored research); c) the licensing of NSF-funded research outputs to third party corporations or to start-up companies funded by a PFI team; and d) the training of future innovation and entrepreneurship leaders.
Limit on the Number of Proposals per Organization:
There is no limit on the number of PFI-TT proposals an organization may submit to a deadline of this solicitation. However, an organization may not submit more than one (1) new or resubmitted PFI-RP proposal to a deadline of this solicitation. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. If an organization exceeds this limit, the first PFI-RP proposal received will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review. An organization may not receive more than two (2) awards from a submission deadline of this solicitation.
For additional details regarding The University of Akron’s limited submission process, visit the ORA Limited Submission webpage.
If you are interested in submitting a NSF MRI proposal, please visit the ORA Limited Submission webpage and complete step 1: Notification of Interest, by the deadline above.
- Individuals interested in applying to a limited submission program must submit a Notification of Interest no later than 5pm on the internal deadline. To submit this notification applicants must email firstname.lastname@example.org (cc’ing email@example.com) with the subject line of the email formatted as follows: “Last name, First name; Limited Submission Notification of Interest”. Notifications will be emailed, and applicants will either be approved to apply or will be prompted to provide a white paper.
- If ORA receives internal notices of interest in excess of the NSF limit on the number of proposals per organization, an internal competition will be necessary and additional information will be sent to those who submitted a notice of interest.