NSF names two new Innovation Engines in North Carolina, announces $30 Million in new investments to region

banner for the NSF Engines Inaugural Awards with blue background

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced two of the first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) as a part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The Piedmont Triad Regenerative Medicine Engine and the North Carolina Sustainable Textiles Innovation Engine, both anchored in North Carolina, will each initially receive up to $15 million for two years and up to $160 million over 10 years. NSF will announce additional NSF Engines across the nation in the coming days. Later today, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Forsyth Technical Community College to tour their lab facilities and hear from local North Carolinians who will lead the Piedmont Triad Regenerative Medicine Engine.

“I am delighted to be with Dr. Biden today in North Carolina to announce a key investment made possible by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. This groundbreaking investment in place-based science and technology research and development will spur economic growth and catalyze breakthrough technologies in regenerative medicine and textile manufacturing. This will no doubt generate regional job growth and economic development in the regions served by these two NSF Engines delivering on NSF’s priority to create opportunities everywhere and innovations anywhere across the nation.” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan.

The two NSF Engines awardees announced today are focused on regenerative medicine and driving innovation in textile manufacturing in regions anchored in North Carolina. The Piedmont Triad Regenerative Medicine Engine, based in Winston-Salem, will tap the world’s largest regenerative medicine cluster to create and scale breakthrough clinical therapies, contributing to an ever-growing industry that is key to healthcare delivery. The North Carolina Sustainable Textiles Innovation Engine, based in Raleigh and Gaston and spanning parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, will revolutionize the $90 billion textile industry by developing sustainable fabrics. Today’s awards are a part of the President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which has mobilized $31 billion private sector investments in manufacturing and clean energy in North Carolina alone.

The NSF Engines represent one of the single largest broad investments in place-based research and development in the nation's history – uniquely placing science and technology leadership as the central driver for regional economic competitiveness. The announcement delivers on the bipartisan priorities outlined in the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022," which authorized the NSF Engines program. Launched in May 2022, the NSF Engines program uniquely harnesses the nation's science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources.

More information will be available soon on the NSF Engines program website.