lab worker holds computer chip

Industry: Engaging with NSF

Funding programs for industry

Explore NSF programs that support industry research, training and capacity building. For-profit organizations are eligible to apply to any of these programs.

America's Seed Fund (SBIR/STTR)

Startups can receive up to $2 million from NSF for early-stage research and development; NSF takes no equity in the companies it funds. Submit a project pitch at any time to get started.

Convergence Accelerator

Transdisciplinary teams can receive up to $5.75 million to co-design and co-create technological advances that will benefit society and the economy.

NSF Regional Innovation Engines

Receive up to $160 million from NSF to create regional "innovation ecosystems" — coalitions of organizations that galvanize use-inspired research, technology translation and workforce development.

Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies

Organizations can receive up to $1 million to offer hands-on learning experiences for diverse groups, preparing them with essential skills for careers in emerging technology fields.

Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems

Secure up to $1.5 million in funding to support the facilitation, creation and growth of open-source ecosystems for the creation of new technology solutions.

Partnership programs

NSF offers many programs that cultivate partnerships between industry, academia and other sectors so they can pursue transformative research, solve societal problems, fuel economic progress, and build a future-ready workforce.

Some of these programs allow for-profit organizations to apply, while others require industry to partner with a lead organization, typically a college or university.

Contracting opportunities

Each year, the U.S. National Science Foundation spends a large proportion of its budget acquiring goods and services from the private sector, such as:

  • Research, including applied and educational research.
  • Audit services.
  • Facilities maintenance.
  • IT hardware, software, maintenance and integration; telecommunications and other technical support.
  • Logistics, operations and maintenance support for ocean drilling and operations in polar regions.

Additional resources

Applying for NSF funding

Learn about NSF funding, including tips for finding the right opportunity, how to prepare and submit a proposal, and how NSF makes funding decisions.

Partnering with NSF

NSF partners with other organizations to amplify its investments in research and education — increasing the foundation's economic and societal benefits to the United States.

Explore highlights of recent NSF partnerships

Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

NSF's newest directorate focuses on advancing U.S. competitiveness by investing in the development of key technologies and addressing pressing societal and economic challenges.