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Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity - Smart Service Systems

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships to carry out research to advance, adapt, and integrate technology (ies) into a specified, human-centered smart service system. The selected service system should function as a technology test bed. These translational research projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a "smart" service system, one that can identify, learn, adapt, and make decisions. It is essential that this research incorporate human factors considerations to assure the system's efficacy. The research tasks in turn might generate additional discoveries inspired by the interaction of humans and technology.

A highly interdisciplinary collaboration is needed to achieve successful integration into a smart service system. Thus, required research components to be included in PFI:BIC projects are as follows:

  1. Engineered system design and integration;
  2. Computing, sensing, and information technologies; and
  3. Human factors, behavior sciences, and cognitive engineering.

There is a single funding competition each fiscal year. Click here to see current list of active awards.

To learn more and get started with a grant application, please see the latest NSF PFI:BIC Solicitation - 16-591. You also can learn about the program and submitting proposals by reviewing the slides and watching the video from the Sept. 9, 2016 PFI:BIC webinar.

  • Required Letter of Intent (LOI), October 14, 2016, due 5:00 pm local time.
  • Full Proposal Submission November 16, 2016, due 5:00 pm local time.

Anatomy of a PFI:BIC Project

(click for a larger view!)
schematic showing the anatomy of a PFI:BIC project


Smart Service Systems

Read a 2016 press releases about PFI:BIC awards - NSF invests $13 million in smart, human-centered service systems.

The Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships held a virtual forum open to the public to discuss smart service systems in light of the establishment of the Building Innovation Capacity program. This virtual forum had participation from both industry and academe working in either smart technologies, service systems or both. A recording of the 2013 forum can be found here: BIC Forum Recording. Presentation slides can be found here: BIC Forum PowerPoint Presentation.


Stay Connected

Join the discussion about smart service systems via the NSF Smart Service Systems LinkedIn Group.

To stay up-to-date with PFI:BIC and similar programs, join the "Academic-Industry Partnerships at NSF" newsletter: