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Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)

The Directorate for Engineering's Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) fosters partnerships to advance technological innovation and public-private partnerships. 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 (I/UCRC) 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.

  • Partnerships for Innovation:
    • Accelerating Innovation Research - Research Alliance (PFI:AIR-RA) helps accelerate the translation and transfer of existing research discoveries into competitive technologies and commercial realities by catalyzing academic based innovation ecosystems.
    • Accelerating Innovation Research - Technology Transfer (PFI:AIR-TT) program supports research to overcome technology barriers and knowledge gaps in the translation of fundamental science and engineering discoveries toward market-valued solutions by enabling investigators to develop a proof-of-concept, prototype, or scale-up of the prototype that addresses real-world constraints and provides a competitive value in a potential application space. Applicants must have had either an NSF award that led to a research result that has commercial potential, or have been a graduate of an NSF-funded I-Corps program.
    • Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships to carry out research to advance, adapt, and integrate technology into a specified, human-centered smart service system.

  • The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide proof-of-concept / feasibility grants for early stage, high-tech small businesses (6-12 months, $225,000) which could potentially be followed by grants to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development to de-risk their technologies (2 years, $750,000).

  • The Grants Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program supports activities that are focused on research of interest to academic researchers and industrial partners, furthering scientific and engineering foundations to enable future breakthrough technologies with the potential to address critical industry needs.

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