Live Right Now: NSF Announcing New Innovation Corps

July 28th, 2011 by Erwin Gianchandani Post a comment »

(This post has been updated; please scroll down for the latest.)

NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) [image courtesy www.nsf.gov]In just a few minutes, Earlier today, during a special session of the National Science Board — and before a large gathering of senior leadership from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), members of the media, and other invited guests — NSF Director Subra Suresh and OSTP Director John Holdren will unveiled the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps), a brand new “public-private partnership aimed at developing a national innovation ecosystem that strategically leverages the output of NSF-funded scientific research to help develop new technologies, products, and processes that benefit society and the economy.”

The I-Corps

will enhance our nation’s economic competitiveness as enjoined by the NSF strategic plan by “reaching out to the range of communities that play complementary roles in the innovation process and are essential to ensuring the impact of NSF investments.”

The CISE Directorate will play a leading role in this cross-directorate initiative.

Watch video of the announcement, which is being streamed live right now, here.

And we’ll have more details in this space just as soon as they become available. Stay tuned!

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Updated at 12:15pm EDT: In announcing the NSF I-Corps, OSTP Director John Holdren stated:

Our interest in America’s scientific progress is particularly germane and urgent today. The discoveries generated with National Science Foundation support matter more to our everyday life, our security, our health, than at any other point in history… Computer science, as we all know, has sparked new industries that employ millions of Americans and enhance the productivity and wellbeing of countless more… In no small measure, America’s future health, prosperity, and security are tied as they have been in the past to the success of the National Science Foundation.

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Updated at 12:29pm EDT: And from NSF Director Subra Suresh’s remarks:

It is clear that despite various legislative, policy, and other incentives, migrating discoveries and innovations from the bench to the field… eludes us more than is necessary or desirable.  That’s why we’re here today.

 

How can we help identify and nurture those fundamental discoveries that have potential impact?

 

What new mechanisms can be created to help strengthen our nation’s innovation ecosystem so that the vast majority of institutions that are not currently part of such an ecosystem can help realize the potential of such fundamental research?

 

How can we network NSF PIs who produce fast-breaking discoveries with the movers and shakers in the business, entrepreneurship, and venture capital communities?…

 

NSF I-Corps will create a new national network of scientists, engineers, innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. It will help strengthen our national innovation ecosystem. Innovation Corps awards will help to identify nascent scientific discoveries and will leverage NSF’s investment in basic research for [technology development].

Suresh also noted the partnership of the Kauffman Foundation and the Deshpande Foundation in this new initiative.

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Updated at 12:37pm EDT: From the NSF official press release:

Members of the private sector will provide critical support to this NSF 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. The I-Corps 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 I-Corps program will initially support up to 100 projects per year, at $50,000 a project [for six months, and with a maximum of $5,000 in indirect costs].

And there’s lots more information available on the brand new NSF Innovation Corps website — “The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) guides promising research with commercial potential out of university laboratories” – including a detailed Q&A document.

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Updated at 4:49pm EDT: Media coverage of today’s announcement is now surfacing. Check out some of it herehere, and here.

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Updated Friday, July 29, at 10:33am EDT: NSF will be holding webinars at 2pm ET on the first Tuesday of every month to answer questions about I-Corps. These webinars “will provide updated information about the I-Corps Mentor Network, the curriculum, and other aspects of I-Corps.”

The first webinar will be on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 2pm EDT. For details, click here.

Updated Friday, July 29, at 11:52am EDT: And here’s a direct link to the complete solicitation for the NSF Innovation Corps program.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)