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New NSF Investment to Accelerate Innovation Research

Photo of Flaura Winston in the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies virtual simulator room.

The NSF Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies is among the FY 2011 AIR grantees.

July 26, 2011

Last week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) granted a set of 22 awards to spur innovations from research discoveries across many fields of science and engineering.  Through the Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) program, the NSF Division for Industrial Innovation and Partnerships invested $9.2 million into two types of awards that will foster innovative technology and thinking at different scales.   

The first type of AIR award supports the promising ideas of small groups as they begin to transition fundamental science and engineering findings into commercial reality.  These grants will enable academic researchers and their students to develop proofs of concept and technology translation plans and to experience firsthand what it takes to successfully launch an innovation.

"The AIR program provides a wonderful opportunity for interested academic researchers to revisit exciting discoveries from their prior NSF support with an eye towards translating that work to the marketplace," said Karlene Hoo, an NSF program director for AIR.  "These awards will enable research teams to position their innovations for subsequent private sector investment."

The second type of AIR award supports the creation of research alliances between existing NSF-funded consortia and at least one partner from the world of business and entrepreneurship.  These awards provide up to $1 million to form synergistic relationships that will accelerate the innovation of products, processes, and/or systems built upon the research foundations of each consortium. 

"NSF centers and partnership consortia build long-term, trusting relationships between academia and industry," said Rathindra (Babu) DasGupta, an NSF program director for AIR.  "Because these relationships are based on shared values and are forged through collaborative discovery research, they provide a ready-made platform from which to accelerate innovation."

List of NSF AIR Awards

- Cecile J. Gonzalez, -


Media Contact
Joshua Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730,

Program Contact
Rathindra (Babu) DasGupta, AIR Program Director, (703) 292-8353,
Karlene Hoo, AIR Program Director, (703) 292-4609,

Related Links
Press Release about NSF STEP Innovation Center:


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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