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NSF Unveils Innovation Corps to Extend Innovation Impact

Pins on a map (CJ Sorg/Flickr)National Science Foundation launched today its Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, a public-private partnership to help turn scientific and engineering discoveries into useful technologies and products. I-Corps expects to support up to 100 projects at $50,000 a project.

In I-Corps, NSF will ask members of the private sector to share their knowledge and experience with I-Corps awardees. These technology developers, business leaders, and venture capitalists from private industry will act as I-Corps mentors and form a network of expertise that can enhance the I-Corps awardees’ ability to transform their scientific and engineering results into successful technologies.

Each I-Corps team of principal investigator, mentor, and an entrepreneurial lead, will systematically identify and act on the barriers to developing the awardee’s technology for the marketplace. These will include factors such as resources required, competing technologies, and value added by the innovation.

I-Corps will also pilot test merit review processes where promising discoveries from NSF-funded research projects will be identified quickly for financial support as well as for mentorship through the national network. In addition, I-Corps plans to provide students with opportunities to learn about and participate in the process of transforming scientific and engineering discoveries into innovative technologies.

The Deshpande Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation, along with NSF, are founding members of the I-Corps partnership. I-Corps plans to hold monthly Webinars to discuss the program and answer questions. The first Webinar is Tuesday 2 August at 2:00 pm ET.

Read more: U.S. Regional Industry Cluster Challenge Unveiled

Photo: C.J. Sorg/Flickr

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