Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)

The Directorate for Engineering's Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) supports programs to accelerate NSF-funded and federally-funded fundamental research into market opportunities, and fosters public-private partnerships to advance technological innovation. IIP invests in high-tech small businesses and collaborations between academia and industry to transform discoveries into innovative commercial technologies with societal benefits.

  • The Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps), an NSF-wide entrepreneurial education program, equips scientists with the tools needed to transform discoveries with commercial realization potential into innovative technologies.

  • Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) perform cutting-edge industry-led pre-competitive fundamental research in science, engineering, technology area(s) of interest to industry that can drive innovation and the U.S. economy.

  • Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity enables graduate students already supported on an NSF grant to pursue internship and training opportunities outside of academia and augment their research assistantships with non-academic activities that will help them acquire professional development experience relevant to multiple career pathways.

  • The Partnerships for Innovation program gives scientists and engineers the opportunity to increase the impact of their NSF-funded research discoveries by developing their technology into a prototype or proof-of-concept. PFI accepts proposals in two broad tracks:
    • Technology Translation (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.
    • Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) supports 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.

  • The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide early stage, high-tech small businesses with grants for proof-of-concept / feasibility research that could potentially be followed by grants for cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development to de-risk their technologies.


IIP home page image credits
Chip image credit: Tortuga Logic, Inc.
Two women with equipment for making silk image credit: Bolt Threads
Living cells implanted with sensor image credit: PharmaSeq, Inc.
Man with robot in background image credit: Courtesy of The University of Texas at Arlington