Partnerships for Innovation


PFI Supplemental Funding Opportunities


Read through our Frequently Asked Questions to learn everything from the proposal process to post-award reporting (and everything in between).

PFI Q&A webinars

Watch a recorded PFI application webinar or download slides from the presentation.



Program Director Kaitlin Bratlie (

Kaitlin Bratlie Kaitlin “Katie” Bratlie joined NSF as a Program Director for the Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program in June 2020. Since 2011, Katie has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Iowa State University. Her current research thrusts include the development of biomaterials for medical applications and evaluation of these materials in in vitro and in vivo contexts for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She received the NSF BRIGE Award in 2012, the ISU Honors Mentor Award in 2014, was nominated “Outstanding Faculty Member” by the Interfraternity Council in 2015, and won both the Akinc Excellence in Research and Teaching Awards in 2015. Katie earned her B.S. from the University of Minnesota and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of Prof. Gabor Somorjai. She was a post-doctoral research fellow at MIT as an NIH fellow in Professor Bob Langer’s lab.


Program Director Samir Iqbal (

Samir Iqbal Samir Iqbal joined the National Science Foundation in 2021 as a program director for the Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program. Samir is also currently a professor of electrical and computer engineering and was department chair at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), a Minority-Serving Institution. Prior to UTRGV, Samir was an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington (UT-Arlington) where he spun off two companies from his NSF-funded research. Samir has also served as a mentor for a number of startups, bringing together academics and industrial partners. He was instrumental in developing programs that provided meaningful research and education experiences in STEM areas to women and students from underrepresented backgrounds. His research has focused on cancer nanotechnology, nano-bio interfaces, machine learning and developing measurement techniques for single molecule and single cell analysis. He was a Presidential Fellow at UT-Arlington in 2017, a Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE-EMBS and Nanotechnology Council for many years and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Samir earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2007.


Program Director Jesus Soriano (

Jesus Soriano is Program Director for the NSF's Partnerships for Innovation program. Previously, Jesus served as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program director since 2012 covering Biomedical and Smart Health Technologies. He joined NSF after 20 years of international experience in executive leadership in the biopharmaceutical and non-profit sectors, start-up formation and funding, technology commercialization, and academic teaching and research.

Prior to joining NSF, Jesus was the senior advisor to the Puerto Rico Trust for Science, Technology and Research, a technology-based development organization, executive vice president at QRxPharma, Ltd., a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused in pain management and central nervous system disorders, and senior director of business development at Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. Jesus has also held several executive leadership positions at the global bioresource center ATCC, including vice president for Intellectual Property, Licensing and International Business Development, and was associate director for R&D Operations and Business Development at Entremed, Inc, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the treatment of cancer.

Jesus began his career as a family doctor in Spain; he then worked at the University of Geneva Medical School, Switzerland initially as Research Scientist and then as Assistant Professor. He initially came to the United States as a visiting scientist to the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute under an advanced researcher fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He holds an MBA in Corporate Finance from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School; a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the University of Geneva, Switzerland; and a M.D. from the University of Alicante, Spain.

Questions? Send your executive summary
To gauge whether your project fits the goals of the PFI program, feel free to email a one- to two-page executive summary to outlining the following information:

    1. The NSF lineage of your PFI project (NSF-supported research results and/or I-Corps™ Teams)
    2. The societal need/market opportunity to be addressed.
    3. The proposed innovation.
    4. Key technological hurdles you must overcome to translate the technology into a product or service.
    5. The envisioned pathway to commercialization.
    6. The team and partners you would bring to the PFI project.


Stay up to date with PFI and similar programs by joining the "Academic-Industry Partnerships at NSF" newsletter: