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Fact Sheet

The Foundation for the Next Generation of Innovation

February 14, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been instrumental in supporting fundamental research that has resulted in countless discoveries that underpin our nation's economic growth. From market innovations to high-technology products, NSF's support of science and engineering continues to further our nation's ability to compete and innovate on the global scale. Investments in the following areas in FY 2012 will help ensure that our nation maintains its position of global leadership and generates new knowledge to underpin industrial creation and innovation in perpetuity.

NSF will invest in the multi-agency National Robotics Initiative (NRI) to help develop robots that work beside, interact cooperatively with, or assist people in manufacturing, space and undersea exploration, health care and rehabilitation, military and homeland security and surveillance, education and training, and safe driving.

Biological systems provide architectural and operational blue prints to guide the engineering of adaptive technologies. NSF will support the Research at the Interface of the Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (BioMaPS) program that will integrate biological, engineering, mathematical, and physical sciences research to better understand and replicate nature's ability to network, communicate, and adapt. BioMaPS will accelerate the generation of bio-based materials and sensors, and the advanced manufacturing of bio-inspired devices and platforms.

New to NSF's portfolio, the Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) program catalyzes interdisciplinary research. As the only federal agency that supports all fields of science and engineering, NSF is positioned to catalyze hybridized fields of research such as synthetic biology, social cognitive neuroscience, nano-eco-toxicology, and information theory. INSPIRE will address critical evaluation issues by implementing a system to assess the impact of these awards.

Over the decades, NSF laid much of the groundwork for our nation's high-technology economy through investments in fundamental research. Continued investment in basic core research will create a new foundation of knowledge for future emerging industries and help establish U.S. leadership in new areas of biological, information technology, and nanotechnology research.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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