Skip to main content
Email Print Share

About the I/UCRC Program

Skip to Content

The Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program was initiated in 1973 to develop long-term partnerships among industry, academe and government. The National Science Foundation (NSF) invests in these partnerships to promote research programs of mutual interest, contribute to the nation's research infrastructure base, enhance the intellectual capacity of the engineering or science workforce through the integration of research and education, and facilitate technology transfer. As appropriate, NSF encourages international collaborations that advance these goals within the global context:

The I/UCRC program seeks to achieve these goals by:

  • Contributing to the nation's research enterprise by developing long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government;
  • Leveraging NSF funds with industry to support graduate students performing industrially relevant pre-competitive research;
  • Expanding the innovation capacity of our nation's competitive workforce through partnerships between industries and universities; and
  • Encouraging the nation's research enterprise to remain competitive through active engagement with academic and industrial leaders throughout the world.

Proposals for I/UCRCs addressing any precompetitive research areas identified among the science and technology priorities for the nation are welcome and will be fully considered. The I/UCRC Program may periodically highlight specific areas of interest via a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL).

To meet national needs, multi-university I/UCRCs are preferred to single-university I/UCRCs because multi-university Centers contribute to an increased research base as well as to increased interaction among Center participants. The Centers are catalyzed by an investment from NSF with primary support derived from the private and public sector. The NSF takes a supporting role in the development and evolution of the I/UCRC, providing a framework for membership and operations as well as requirements derived from extensive Center experience and evaluation.

The NSF invests in nationwide Centers that do not overlap in research foci with existing I/UCRCs. PIs should review the I/UCRC Center Directory found on the Program's webpage for potential overlaps prior to proposing a new Center. In the event of a potential overlap, the PIs should consider joining the already existing I/UCRC.

View videos about the I/UCRC program and its centers.