NSF establishes 10 inaugural Regional Innovation Engines across the country

US Map showing the locations of the NSF Engines Inaugural Awards

Each NSF Engine will transform its region into a self-sustaining, technology- and innovation-driven hub of economic activity

The U.S. National Science Foundation today established the first-ever NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines), awarding 10 teams spanning 18 states. With a potential NSF investment of nearly $1.6 billion over the next decade, 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 inaugural NSF Engines awards demonstrate our enduring commitment to create opportunity everywhere and enable innovation anywhere," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "Through these NSF Engines, NSF aims to expand the frontiers of technology and innovation and spur economic growth across the nation through unprecedented investments in people and partnerships. NSF Engines hold significant promise to elevate and transform entire geographic regions into world-leading hubs of innovation.”

Each NSF Engine will initially receive up to $15 million for two years. NSF's initial $150 million investment in these 10 regions is being matched nearly two to one in commitments from state and local governments, other federal agencies, philanthropy and private industry.  

Teams that demonstrate progress toward well-defined milestones could potentially receive up to $160 million each from NSF over 10 years, as they seek to catalyze the NSF funding to draw additional investments into the overall region. The announcement delivers on the bipartisan priorities outlined in the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022," which authorized the NSF Engines program.

Beyond the 10 NSF Engines awards, a subset of the semifinalists and finalists will be invited to pursue NSF Engines Development Awards, with each receiving up to $1 million to further develop their partnerships and model for a future NSF Engines proposal. They will join 44 existing awardees announced in early May 2023. View a map of the NSF Engines Development Awards.

10 Inaugural NSF Engines:

Launched by TIP in May 2022, the NSF Engines program uniquely harnesses the nation's science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources. The program received nearly 700 concept outlines from every U.S. state and territory. 

NSF published data from the concept outlines to encourage collaboration, and this transparency led to the creation of diverse proposer networks and strengthened submitted proposals. To further encourage the growth of partnerships within each region, NSF also announced NSF Engines semifinalists and finalists. These new efforts in transparency highlight NSF's commitment to maximizing the vitality of each NSF Engine and the chances of long-term success. 

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