NSF funding opportunity expands I-Corps Hubs program

The U.S. National Science Foundation published a new funding opportunity to expand the Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Hubs program. In order to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation network, strengthen U.S. science and engineering research and education, and avoid research and education being concentrated in one region or state, NSF encourages proposers to develop partnerships that cover geographic areas that have not been previously included in current NSF I-Corps Hubs awards. View the I-Corps Hub Map for information on which areas are covered.

The I-Corps Hubs form the operational backbone of the NSF I-Corps program and serve as an integral piece of the National Innovation Network, providing researchers with training on how to translate their scientific discoveries into new technologies, products, processes and services to benefit society.

The newest I-Corps Hubs funding opportunity seeks to support consortia of institutions spanning a distinct geographic region not currently covered by an existing I-Corps Hub. Each I-Corps Hub receives up to $3 million per year for five years and initially includes at least eight universities (a lead university and seven partner institutions). Currently, there are 10 I-Corps Hubs spanning 94 academic institutions across 40 states and the District of Columbia. 

Established in 2011, the I-Corps program is an entrepreneurial education program designed to help researchers commercialize deep technologies, which grow from discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. In little more than a decade, over 1,380 participating teams have launched startups and small businesses, and these companies have cumulatively raised over $3.16 billion in subsequent funding (including $2.15 billion in private investment) – 10.5 times the federal investment in the program during the same period ($300 million).

For more information, view the I-Corps Hubs solicitation and register for an informational webinar on Feb. 15, 2024, at 1 p.m. ET.