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Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

A directorate at the U.S. National Science Foundation

Global competition in science, engineering and technology is fierce, pushing the United States to accelerate the impact of research. Our ability to lead on the world stage and keep our nation secure is directly tied to our ability to accelerate breakthrough technologies, translate research results to the market and society, and attract and nurture diverse talent into the U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce, including researchers, practitioners, technicians, entrepreneurs, educators and more. This work is predicated on investments by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Over the past two years, NSF’s nascent and growing Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) – together with the rest of NSF – has worked to foster innovation ecosystems, accelerate technology translation and development and grow the STEM workforce.  

TIP’s impact is already felt nationwide. In March 2024, TIP was actively funding 2,700+ awards to 901 distinct organizations spanning academia, nonprofits and startups and small businesses, and 55 states and territories. See a full list of all that we’ve done on our timeline page. 

Maximizing NSF’s impact

NSF has advanced the full spectrum of fundamental research and education in all fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, for more than 70 years — from foundational, curiosity-driven research that has led to new knowledge about our world, to use-inspired, solution-oriented research that has directly impacted people's everyday lives. At every stage, investments across this spectrum have been deeply intertwined.

NSF's TIP directorate doubles down on the agency's commitment to support use-inspired research and the translation of research results to the market and society. In doing so, the new directorate strengthens the intense interplay between foundational and use-inspired work, enhancing the full cycle of discovery and innovation.

Mobilizing the collective power of the nation

TIP is a crosscutting platform that collaboratively integrates with NSF's existing directorates and fosters partnerships — with government, industry, nonprofits, civil society and communities of practice — to leverage, energize and rapidly bring to society use-inspired research and innovation.

TIP spurs NSF and the science, engineering and technology communities forward to new innovations and impacts. TIP meets the nation's priorities by providing researchers and innovators with education, tools and funding to accelerate the development of breakthrough technologies and speed solutions forward.

TIP comprises three primary focus areas

The directorate works closely with the entire agency to leverage ongoing research investments to drive research and innovation across all science and engineering fields, leading more rapidly to societal and economic benefits.

Innovation and Technology Ecosystems

Fostering Innovation and Technology Ecosystems

Accelerates breakthroughs in key technology areas to grow long-term U.S. competitiveness, leading to game-changing technologies and solutions that address societal and economic challenges and pave the way for new, high-wage jobs.

Learn about TIP programs to foster and develop ecosystems.

Translational Pathways

Establishing Translation Pathways

Enables the translation of research results to practice. Programs aligned to this focus provide pathways for researchers, startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to move their ideas from the laboratory to the market and society. 

Learn about TIP programs for technology translation.

Engage Diverse Talent

Training the Nation’s Workforce

Stimulates partnerships that open opportunities for all Americans for future, high-wage jobs in STEM fields.

Learn about TIP partnerships.

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To receive updates about TIP, including the latest funding opportunities and information about ways to partner across its portfolio of technology, innovation and translation, sign up for the TIP newsletter today.