NSF nearly doubles award sizes in PFI solicitation

Researchers can now receive up to $1 million for translational research, technology scale-up and demonstration

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) published an updated solicitation for the Partnerships for Innovation, or PFI, program with significantly increased funding awards for the program’s two tracks. The new solicitation now offers a maximum budget of $550,000 per proposal for its Technology Translation (PFI-TT) track and up to $1 million per proposal for its Research Partnership (PFI-RP) track.

The PFI program helps researchers develop their technologies, demonstrate commercial potential, develop critical partnerships, educate and provide leadership development for students in innovation and entrepreneurship, and broaden participation in innovation, technology translation and entrepreneurial activities.

All PFI proposals must meet a lineage requirement by having a PI or Co-PI with NSF-supported research in any field of science and engineering within the last seven (7) years. NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Teams awards no longer convey the lineage required to submit a PFI proposal.

The PFI program aligns within the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP, and leverages ongoing NSF research investments to drive research and innovation, leading more rapidly to national, societal and economic benefits. As prescribed by TIP and in accordance with the CHIPS and Science Act, the PFI program supports use-inspired translational research toward proof-of-concept of a future product, process or service, prototype development, demonstration of commercial potential and the enhancement of partnerships across U.S. academia, nonprofits and industry. 

The two PFI tracks differ in the complexity of the project, their funding amounts, their duration of support, and whether they require multi-organizational and interdisciplinary partnerships and the participation of an industrial partner. Learn more on PFI’s website.

Deadlines for submissions can be found in the PFI solicitation.