NSF News

NSF selects 34 semifinalists for the inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition

NSF announces the list of semifinalists to transparently encourage teaming, diversity and regional growth

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced 34 semifinalists for the first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) competition, spanning nearly all key technology areas and societal and economic challenges highlighted in the "CHIPS and Science Act." The NSF Engines will be led by universities, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations from across U.S. states and territories. NSF is releasing the list of semifinalists to transparently encourage teaming among diverse organizations, innovation, and regional growth. View details and a map of the NSF Engines semifinalists on the NSF website.

The NSF Engines program is anticipated to be transformational for the nation, ensuring the U.S. remains globally competitive in key technology areas for decades to come. Each NSF Engine could receive up to $160 million over 10 years; actual amounts will be subject to a given NSF Engine's status and overall progress, as assessed annually. NSF anticipates announcing the final list of NSF Engines awards this fall, with each awardee initially receiving about $15 million for the first two years.

"Each of these NSF Engines semifinalists represents an emerging hub of innovation and lends their talents and resources to form the fabric of NSF's vision to create opportunities everywhere and enable innovation anywhere," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "These teams will spring ideas, talent, pathways and resources to create vibrant innovation ecosystems all across our nation."

NSF initially received 188 concept outlines for NSF Engines. Following a proposers' day and other activities that encouraged teaming, NSF has now completed initial merit review of proposals, narrowing to the 34 semifinalists. During the next stage, NSF will interview each team to assess their proposed leadership's ability to rapidly mobilize in the first two years; their competitive advantages; and budget and resources for their planned research and development, translation and workforce development efforts. Those selected to move to the final round in July will be interviewed in person to assess risks and committed resources, as well as the team's ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Semifinalists not selected to receive an NSF Engine award may be considered for an NSF Engine Development Award of up to $1 million over two years. These planning awards will help teams build their initial ecosystems, cultivate the necessary partnerships and potentially compete for additional funding, including through future NSF Engines competitions. Learn more about the review process by reading the funding opportunity.

Launched by NSF's new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) and authorized by the "CHIPS and Science Act," the NSF Engines program uniquely harnesses the nation's science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources. NSF Engines aspire to catalyze robust partnerships to positively impact the economy within a geographic region, address societal challenges, advance national competitiveness and create local, high-wage jobs across the country.

"Today's announcement builds upon the 44 NSF Engines Development Awards that we announced in early May," noted Erwin Gianchandani, NSF assistant director for TIP. "Over the next two years, those awards will help organizations create connections and develop their local innovation ecosystems to prepare strong proposals for becoming future NSF Engines. Collectively, the NSF Engines Development Awards and today's NSF Engines semifinalists will ensure the U.S. harnesses the geography of innovation and remains in the vanguard of competitiveness well into the future."

More information about the program can be found on the NSF Engines program website.

NSF Engines semifinalists (Semifinalists are grouped by topic and listed within each topic in alphabetical order by organization name.)

Advanced Agriculture

  • Innovation Outpost, Inc.: NSF Engines: Type-2: Texas Panhandle Innovation Engine (TPIE)
  • North Dakota State University Fargo: NSF Engines: Type-2: Northern Plains AgTech Engine for Food systems Adapted for Resiliency and Maximized Security (FARMS)

Advanced Manufacturing/Building Construction

  • Indian River State College: NSF Engines: Type-2: BioDiscovery Coast Innovation Engine
  • Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation: NSF Engines: Type-2: Additive Manufacturing Forward Engine (AMFE)
  • Purdue Applied Research Institute, LLC: NSF Engines: Type 2: NSF Innovation Engine for Next-Generation Factory-Built Housing (NextHouse)

Advanced Materials

  • FUZEHUB, Inc.: NSF Engines: Type-2: Upstate Makes: A Materials Innovation Engine for Manufacturing Sustainability
  • Nevada System of Higher Education: NSF Engines: Type 2: Intermountain Region Integrated Ecosystem (IRIE) for Critical Battery Materials Supply Chain, Sustainable Battery Technologies and Economic Prosperity Engine
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities: NSF Engines: Type-2: Midwest Sustainable Plastics Innovation Regional Engine (M-SPIRE)

Advanced Mobility

  • Michigan Central Innovation District LLC: NSF Engines: Type-2: Revolutionizing Mobility & Society in Detroit
  • Ohio State University: NSF Engines: Type-2: Electrified Mobility Innovation Engine (EMIE)


  • New Mexico Trade Alliance: NSF Engines: Type 2: Space for Earth, Space for All: Space Valley's Role in Securing America's Economic and Political Future
  • University of Texas at El Paso: NSF Engines: Type-2: Paso del Norte Innovation for Defense and Aerospace (IDEA) Engine
  • Universities Space Research Association: NSF Engines: Type-2: The George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park Accelerator and Regional Catalyst in Ohio (SPARC Ohio)


  • Michigan State University Foundation: NSF Engines: Type-2: The Great Lakes Sustainability Hub for an Alternative Packaging Ecosystem (SHAPE)

Blue Economy/Circular Economy

  • Current Innovation, NFP: NSF Engines Type 2: Great Lakes ReNEW
  • The Industrial Commons: NSF Engines: Type 2: Creating a Modern, Green and Inclusive Textile Sector
  • Tufts University: NSF Engines: Type-2: MOCEAN: Accelerating A Just Energy Transition While Nurturing Healthy Oceans and New Blue Economies Through Innovative Nature-Inclusive Offshore Wind Farms

Climate and Resilience

  • Greater Houston Partnership, Inc.: NSF Engines: Type-2: on Accelerating Carbon-Neutral Technologies and Policies for Energy Transition (ACT)
  • Regents of the University of Idaho: NSF Engines: Type-2: FIERCE: Fueling an Innovative, Equitable and Resilient Climate-smart Economy
  • Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative, Inc.: NSF Engines: Type-2: Scaling the Regional, Technology-Driven, Innovation Ecosystem in Climate Solutions and Community Resiliency in Colorado and Wyoming
  • University of Arizona: NSF Engines: Type-2: Innovation Engine for Climate Resilience in the Colorado RIver BaSIn States (CRISIS)

Health & Wellness

  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation: NSF Engines: Type 2: Achieving Health Equity through Accelerated Discovery and Deployment (AHEADD)
  • Georgia Biomedical Partnership: NSF Engines: Type-2: I-20 EAAST Biomanufacturing Corridor: Equitable Access to Advanced and Sustainable Therapies (I-20 EAAST)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham: NSF Engines: Type-2: Birmingham BIG PITCH: Biotechnology and Innovation for Growth - Post-Industrial Transition to a Commercialization Hub
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell: NSF Engines: Type-2: Advancing Health Equity Through Digital Technologies, Data Infrastructure, and Artificial Intelligence
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine: NSF Engines: Type-2: Central Carolina Engine for Innovation in Regenerative Medicine Clinical Manufacturing

Logistics and Supply Chain

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: NSF Engines: Type 2: Driving America’s Future Supply Chain for Resiliency and Equity from Dock to Door

Microelectronics and Semiconductors

  • ICAMR, INC: NSF Engines: Type 2: NeoCity Semiconductor Technology Accelerator


  • University of Chicago: NSF Engines: Type-2: Quantum Crossroads

Sustainable Energy

  • California Mobility Center: NSF Engines: Type-2: Central Valley Clean Mobility Innovation Corridor: Strengthening California's Zero-Emission Mobility Infrastructure and Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem
  • Louisiana State University: NSF Engines: Type-2: Engine for Louisiana Innovation and Transition of Energy (ELITE) University                                     
  • SUNY at Binghamton: NSF Engines: Type 2: New Energy New York Storage Engine (NENY-SE)

Water Sustainability

  • Arizona State University: NSF Engines: Type-2: Sustainability Innovation Engine for the Southwest (SIES)
  • University of New Mexico: NSF Engines: Type-2: Regional Advancement Leveraging Innovations for Water and Energy Security Transformation (RALI-WEST)