Establishing Partnerships

NSF works with many partners that share the goal of advancing U.S. science and engineering. The Foundation's primary partners are the nation's colleges and universities, but the Foundation's interactions with industry, state and local governments, other federal agencies, school districts, private foundations, and other sectors of our society are critical -- and growing. Investing in scientific instrumentation is one of many activities in which NSF's partners are essential to the Foundation's success.

NSF, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Howard University, and the University of Michigan are jointly supporting a sophisticated instrument for research at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source (APS) in Illinois. Scheduled for completion in 1995, APS will be the largest user facility for materials research in the United States and will be capable of generating the most intense beams of high-energy X-rays ever produced. Researchers from the University of Michigan, Howard University, and AT&T Bell Laboratories have come together to form one of the first research groups chosen to use this facility. They have designed an undulator beam line that will connect to APS and will function like a high- speed strobe light. The instrument will let scientists see changes occurring at molecular and atomic levels in an array of materials from semiconductors to living cells. The costs of the beam line instrument and the experiments will be shared by NSF's Academic Research Infrastructure Program, the University of Michigan, and AT&T. This collaboration among academic and industrial researchers and government agencies is a model for research partnerships.

NSF and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have joined together to support an environmental monitoring program at the University of Texas-Arlington. NSF funds supported acquisition of two state-of-the-art air pollution monitoring systems that can simultaneously analyze carbon monoxide as well as the chemicals that lead to ozone formation. Because some of these ozone precursors are considered major health hazards, this remote-sensing capability will be very useful to industry and government agencies as they work together to control pollutants. Furthermore, university faculty and EPA leadership have demonstrated their long-term commitment to the monitoring program by developing curricula for training professionals in the field and by providing research training to undergraduate and graduate students.