NSF announces evaluation contract for its Regional Innovation Engines Program

NSF will work with the Purdue Center for Regional Development to evaluate the regional impact of NSF Engines.

The U.S. National Science Foundation announced today the award of a contract to the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) to support the evaluation efforts of the NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program. As part of this one-year contract, PCRD will establish a framework and process to evaluate the impact of the NSF Engines awards.

"Data and evaluation frameworks are key to determining the success of transformational programs like NSF Engines," said Erwin Gianchandani, assistant director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. "Through this contract, NSF will ensure the NSF Engines program is successfully harnessing the geography of innovation and that the U.S. remains at the vanguard of competitiveness well into the future."

The evaluation framework developed by PCRD will help NSF assess the NSF Engines program and its impact across the U.S. Findings gathered from this work will help ensure the program is sustainable over the long term and meets the goals as set forth in the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022." PCRD aims to develop a core set of benchmarks, guidelines and metrics that all NSF Engines award recipients will be required to follow to illustrate the effectiveness of the program, providing the basis for the evaluation framework. The NSF Engines span nearly all key technology areas and societal and economic challenges highlighted in the act.

"PCRD is going to be a critical NSF partner to evaluate the impact of the NSF Engines program," said Roberto Gallardo, vice president for engagement and director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development. "NSF's objective is to create impactful and sustainable regional engines. With our contribution to the evaluation process, we'll be helping to tell a powerful story of the impact this program will have across regions throughout the country."

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. Earlier this year, NSF announced the 44 unique NSF Engines Development Awards spanning universities, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations across U.S. states and territories. And in June, NSF announced the 34 semifinalists for the first-ever NSF Engines competition.

Launched by NSF's Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships 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.

Learn more about the NSF Engines.