NSF expands the National Innovation Network with 5 new I-Corps Hubs

Existing Hubs add new partner institutions, expanding their reach across regions

The U.S. National Science Foundation today announced the addition of five new NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Hubs that will scale the NSF-led National Innovation Network, accelerating the translation of discoveries into new solutions that benefit society. Each I-Corps Hub is funded for up to $3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The first five I-Corps Hubs were awarded in 2021, with each Hub expanding its reach this year by adding a new partner institution to their region.

I-Corps Hubs provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers across all fields of science and engineering. I-Corps Hubs form the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network — a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, local and regional entrepreneurial communities and other federal agencies — that help researchers translate fundamental research results to the marketplace. The I-Corps Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the U.S.

"I am delighted the I-Corps Hubs that we are awarding today will expand the footprint of the National Innovation Network, harnessing the innovation potential that exists all across the country by establishing clear pathways for researchers to engage with NSF’s Lab-to-Market Platform," said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. "Each regional I-Corps Hub provides training essential in entrepreneurship and customer discovery, leading to new products, startups and jobs. In this way, the I-Corps program will open up new economic opportunities throughout the United States."

Established in 2011, the I-Corps program is designed to support the commercialization of deep technologies, which grow from discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. Since its inception, approximately 2,800 NSF I-Corps teams have participated in the program.

The newly funded I-Corps Hubs will join the five Hubs funded last year to serve national needs through the following areas of responsibility:

  • Create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance the nation's innovation capacity.
  • Identify, develop and support promising research that can generate economic value.
  • Gather, analyze, evaluate, and utilize the data and insights resulting from the experiences of those participating in local, regional and national I-Corps programs.
  • Provide opportunities to diverse communities of innovators.
  • Share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale to impact economic growth and improve quality of life throughout the nation.

Listed below are the new I-Corps Hubs and participating institutions, as well as the new partner institutions:

NSF I-Corps Hub: Desert and Pacific region — NSF 2229385

  • Arizona State University — Lead
  • Boise State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California San Diego
  • University of Hawai‘i
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas

NSF I-Corps Hub: Interior Northeast region — NSF 2229430

  • Cornell University — Lead
  • Dartmouth College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Binghamton University
  • University at Buffalo
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Rochester
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • The University of Vermont
  • West Virginia University

NSF I-Corps Hub: Southwest region — NSF 2229453

  • The University of Texas at Austin — Lead
  • Louisiana State University
  • New Mexico State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Rice University
  • Texas A&M University
  • The University of Texas at El Paso
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio

NSF I-Corps Hub: Mid-South region — NSF 2229521

  • Vanderbilt University — Lead
  • George Mason University
  • Jackson State University
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Tennessee State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • The University of Virginia

NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Plains region — NSF 2229452

  • North Dakota State University — Lead
  • Dakota State University
  • South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of Nebraska Omaha
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of South Dakota
  • University of Wyoming

New Partner Institutions:

  • Colorado State University
    • NSF I-Corps Hub: West region — NSF 2048703
  • Hampton University
    • NSF I-Corps Hub: Mid-Atlantic region — NSF 2044502
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • NSF I-Corps Hub: New York region — NSF 2048498   
  • The University of Iowa
    • NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes region — NSF 2048612

For more information, visit NSF’s I-Corps website.