NSF expands the NSF Convergence Accelerator to 10 regions nationwide

The program expansion seeks to harness the nation's full geography of innovation 

The U.S. National Science Foundation is excited to announce the expansion of the NSF Convergence Accelerator to 10 regions to enhance national and regional competitiveness in research, innovation and workforce development. 

These 10 regional Convergence Accelerators will promote convergence research and innovation by connecting researchers, practitioners and stakeholders from various domains and sectors across each region to expand the innovation ecosystem and address pressing societal and economic challenges within their regions while supporting the NSF Convergence Accelerator's vision, mission and priorities. 

A small map of the United States displaying the different NSF Convergence Accelerator regions according to color. Text in key: “Northwest (gray); West (light blue-green); Mountain (indigo); Southwest (yellow-brown); Midwest (dark blue-green); South Central (light green); Central (khaki); Southeast (green); Northeast (blue); Mid Atlantic (purple).
"In 2019, NSF established the NSF Convergence Accelerator to advance critical technologies and solutions addressing complex national-scale societal and economic challenges," said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF assistant director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP). "Over the last four years, the NSF Convergence Accelerator has demonstrated how to integrate a multidisciplinary approach with innovation processes to accelerate research to tangible, impactful solutions for the American people. The expansion of the NSF Convergence Accelerator will allow NSF to more fully harness the geography of innovation by increasing the concentration, proximity and diversity of NSF-funded researchers and practitioners, and by scaling the delivery of use-inspired solutions to benefit every part of the country." 

Through this expansion, the NSF Convergence Accelerator will continue to foster and nurture the innovation ecosystem while moving from a single national program to a collection of regional programs. Collaboration at the state, regional and national levels will expand the U.S. innovation network, allowing funded teams to share regional results across networks to ultimately drive long-term national impacts.

Over the next three years, NSF will expand the program nationwide to 10 geographic regions: the Northwest, West, Southwest, Mountain, Midwest, South Central, Central, Southeast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. For program expansion updates, stakeholders are encouraged to subscribe to the program expansion email list

"The NSF Convergence Accelerator's structure presents a new model in research — it is a unique opportunity for organizations to become part of a fast-paced convergence program," said Douglas Maughan, section head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator. "The NSF Convergence Accelerator stimulates research and innovation acceleration. The program's expansion will enable NSF to scale this focus throughout the nation and enable more individuals and organizations to benefit." 

The program's current portfolio, composed of a wide range of research track topics, will continue to receive support from the NSF Convergence Accelerator program team while the program expands. 

NSF Convergence Accelerator Expansion Plan

A series of regional expansion events — at least two per region — are scheduled to take place in three stages over the next three years. The events will raise awareness of NSF, TIP and the NSF Convergence Accelerator, while also providing insights into the roles and responsibilities of the regional NSF Convergence Accelerator lead, called an anchor, and how regional stakeholders can engage or participate in the program. 

The NSF Convergence Accelerator regional expansion events offer attendees from academia, industry, nonprofits, state, local, tribal governments and other communities of practice the opportunity to learn more about the program model and expansion. Event attendees will also be provided networking opportunities to connect with the NSF Convergence Accelerator team, existing NSF Convergence Accelerator-funded teams, and others dedicated to developing use-inspired solutions to address complex challenges within the region. 

Stage 1 of the program's expansion will begin in the Midwest with events in Minneapolis, Omaha and Chicago in May 2024. Additional information about expansion events will be released as dates and locations are finalized, but interested stakeholders and organizations are encouraged to register and attend an event within their geographical region.

"The NSF Convergence Accelerator regional expansion events are an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders to learn about the NSF Convergence Accelerator program," said Shelby Smith, NSF Convergence Accelerator program expansion lead. "Specifically, we are seeking organizations that are interested in the regional anchor opportunity, but we also encourage researchers, practitioners and stakeholders from across each region to attend, as there will be engagement opportunities for them, too. We're excited to share information about our unique program model and innovation curriculum and details of how this expansion will transform the national innovation landscape."

Stage 1 regions:

Midwest Region – Expansion events scheduled for May 2024.
North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. 

Southeast Region – Expansion events scheduled for July 2024.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Northeast Region – Expansion events scheduled for October 2024.
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. 

Southwest Region – Expansion events scheduled for January 2025.
Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, the U.S. Territory of Guam, and the following counties of California: Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, and San Diego.

Stage 2 regions

Mid-Atlantic Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for summer 2025.
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. 

South Central Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for fall 2025.
Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas.

Northwest Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for winter 2026.
Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and the following counties of California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, and Trinity.

Stage 3 regions:

Central Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for summer 2026.
Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Mountain Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for fall 2026.
Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

West Region – Expansion events tentatively scheduled for winter 2027.
Nevada and the following counties of California: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba.

For updates on future events, subscribe to the NSF Convergence Accelerator GovDelivery email list and Eventbrite page

Registration is now open for the Midwest Region expansion events in MinneapolisOmaha or Chicago

About the NSF Convergence Accelerator

Launched in 2019, the NSF Convergence Accelerator — a TIP program — builds upon the NSF investment in basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions toward societal and economic impact. The program's multidisciplinary teams use convergence research fundamentals and innovation processes to stimulate innovative idea-sharing and the development of sustainable solutions. For more information about the program, visit new.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/convergence-accelerator.

About TIP

TIP harnesses the nation's vast and diverse talent pool to accelerate critical and emerging technologies and address pressing societal and economic challenges. The directorate comprises three primary focus areas: fostering innovation and technology ecosystems; establishing translation pathways; and partnering across sectors to improve U.S. competitiveness, grow the U.S. economy and engage and train a diverse workforce for future, high-wage jobs. For more information about TIP, visit new.nsf.gov/tip/latest.