Program Expansion Overview

In April 2024, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) formally announced its plan to scale the NSF Convergence Accelerator from a single NSF program to a national program with 10 regionally focused NSF Convergence Accelerators to enhance national and regional competitiveness in research, innovation and workforce development.  

This program expansion will promote convergence research and innovation by connecting stakeholders from various domains and sectors across each region to expand the innovation ecosystem and address pressing societal and economic challenges within their regions while supporting the NSF Convergence Accelerator's vision, mission and priorities. 

Over the next three years, NSF will expand the program nationwide to 10 geographic regions: the Northwest, West, Mountain, Southwest, Midwest, South Central, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. 


A map of the United States displaying the different NSF Convergence Accelerator regions according to color. Text in key: “Northwest (gray); West (light blue-green); Mountain (indigo); Southwest (yellow-brown); Midwest (dark blue-green); South Central (light green); Central (khaki); Southeast (green); Northeast (blue); Mid Atlantic (purple).

Launched in 2019, the NSF Convergence Accelerator — an NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) program — builds upon NSF's investment in basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions toward societal and economic impact. The program's multidisciplinary teams use convergence research fundamentals and innovation processes to stimulate innovative idea-sharing and the development of sustainable solutions. By bringing together researchers, practitioners and stakeholders across different sectors and areas of expertise, the program is unique in that it accelerates use-inspired solutions to complex societal challenges that cannot be solved by a single discipline.  

Expand the geography of innovation

  • Implement the NSF director's vision of speed and scale by expanding the NSF Convergence Accelerator's reach and NSF's impact. 
  • Enable more organizations and people to benefit from the NSF Convergence Accelerator by distributing funds and resources at a regional level. 
  • Demonstrate NSF's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access through broadening participation throughout each region. 

Foster innovation specific to regions 

  • Enable funded researchers engaged in the program to achieve results specific to their region, providing use-inspired solutions rooted in human needs that drive positive regional and national impacts.  
  • Address regional, societal and economic challenges by developing multidisciplinary teams, partners and use-inspired solutions. 

Promote collaborative partnerships to grow the innovation ecosystem 

  • Encourage collaboration at the state, regional and national levels to expand the U.S. innovation network.  
  • Stimulate innovation, discovery and research acceleration nationwide by fostering partnerships among industry, academia, government, nonprofits and other communities of practice.  
  • Empower funded teams to share regional results across networks to drive long-term national impacts.  

The NSF Convergence Accelerator used the "NSF by the Numbers" tool to obtain average funding for states and territories during 2019-2022 to divide the country into 10 regionally focused NSF Convergence Accelerators. A primary driver to establishing the regions was past funding information and a desire to broaden participating organizations and demonstrate NSF's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The NSF Convergence Accelerator also ensured each region included at least one Estab­lished Program to Stim­u­late Com­pet­i­tive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdiction. 

Stage 1 regions: 

Midwest Region – Expansion events scheduled for May 2024. 
North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. 

Southeast Region – Expansion events scheduled for July 2024. 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Northeast Region – Expansion events scheduled for October 2024. 
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. 

Southwest Region – Expansion events scheduled for January 2025. 
Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, the U.S. Territories of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and the following counties of California: Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. 

Stage 2 regions: 

Mid-Atlantic Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for summer 2025. 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. 

South Central Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for fall 2025. 
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas. 

Northwest Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for winter 2026. 
Alaska, Washington, Oregon and the following counties of California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma and Trinity. 

Stage 3 regions: 

Central Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for summer 2026. 
Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Mountain Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for fall 2026. 
Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. 

West Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for winter 2027. 
Nevada and the following counties of California: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba. 

Each NSF Regional Convergence Accelerator will be managed by an NSF funded Regional Anchor. The Regional Anchor will implement the NSF Convergence Accelerator's program model and ensure the overall experience is consistent with the existing program.  

The Regional Anchor will: 

  • Oversee the day-to-day management and implementation of the NSF Convergence Accelerator model in accordance with NSF guidelines.  
  • Serve as a strategic representative and mission partner of the NSF Convergence Accelerator at the regional level.  
  • Identify challenges of regional and national importance to incorporate convergence research into practical applications.  
  • Accelerate use-inspired research into sustainable, tangible solutions such as tools, techniques, approaches and products.  
  • Facilitate regional stakeholder connections by leveraging networks and promoting collaboration among researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and industry experts. 
  • Manage conflicts of interest and address concerns surrounding intellectual property.

As the NSF Convergence Accelerator expands across the United States, engagement will begin with regional in-person events, where attendees from academia, industry, nonprofits, state, local and tribal governments and other communities of practice will have the opportunity to learn more about the program model and expansion. Event attendees will also benefit from networking opportunities with the NSF Convergence Accelerator team, existing NSF Convergence Accelerator-funded teams and others dedicated to developing use-inspired solutions to complex challenges within the region.  

This information will be updated as dates and locations are finalized, but interested stakeholders and organizations are encouraged to register and attend an event within their geographical region.  

After each set of regional events has been completed, a funding announcement to apply for the Regional Anchor opportunity will be released. Once an organization has been identified and awarded the Regional Anchor position, the NSF Convergence Accelerator will launch the NSF Regional Convergence Accelerator. This will repeat throughout the 10 regions, according to the timeline.

To receive updates and be notified when NSF Convergence Accelerator expansion events take place in your region, subscribe to the NSF Convergence Accelerator's GovDelivery email list and Eventbrite page.  

The program's expansion will offer two funding opportunities: 1) an opportunity to identify the region's Anchor and 2) convergence research funding opportunities. This will repeat throughout the 10 regions.  

Regional Anchor funding opportunity: A Regional Anchor solicitation will be released shortly after each region's events have been completed, so potential submitters can apply for one of the 10 anchor opportunities.  

Convergence research funding opportunities: Once the NSF Convergence Accelerator launches the NSF Regional Convergence Accelerator, the Regional Anchor will identify and issue funding opportunities for convergent teams to accelerate use-inspired research toward tangible outcomes. Funding opportunities will be based on the ideation process published by the Regional Anchor and funded by NSF. To find more information about funding opportunities, please visit Program Expansion Roles and Funding Opportunities