Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

NSF Research Alliances Begin New Efforts to Accelerate Innovation

Eight teams around the country establish collaborations that strengthen the innovation ecosystem.

by Other Author
Register for free to listen to this article
Listen with Speechify
0:00
5:00

The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly $6 million for eight emerging-technology projects that may result in technologies poised for commercialization.

The grants, issued as part of NSF's Accelerating Innovation Research program, will go to projects that aim to create innovative products, processes and systems. Each project will seek to solve problems for various industries, ranging from energy and weather to healthcare and information technology.

"The collaborations fostered by AIR will accelerate the translation from innovative research to market reality and strengthen the national innovation ecosystem," said Grace Wang, director of NSF's Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, which funds the awards. "Partnerships and third-party investment are essential for successful technology translation."

NSF
CASA ERC students developed and deployed an off-the-grid, wireless radar system in Puerto Rico. Sandra Cruz-Pol, UPRM-CASA  

Academic researchers will collaborate with private-sector partners as they begin the development of new technology concepts. In addition, the AIR Research Alliance competition requires researchers to obtain an equal commitment of resources for their projects from a company; a venture capital firm; an individual "angel" investor or a federal, state or local government--or a combination of these.

"With AIR, NSF-supported research alliances have a chance to expand their industrial reach and understand first-hand what's involved in commercialization," said Lynn Preston, director of the NSF Engineering Research Centers program. "They also have an opportunity to build upon their promising discoveries and technologies."

Fiscal 2012 AIR awards were granted to three engineering research centers, three industry/university cooperative research centers and two partnerships for innovation sites.

"These projects are expected to not only result in new technologies and start-up businesses," said AIR program director Karlene Hoo, "they also will provide opportunities for students to learn about innovation, entrepreneurship and the technology translation process."

During the next two years, AIR awards will support the following projects.