Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity (EPIIC)

Award Info:

EPIIC awards are expected to be up to three (3) years in duration. Each award will be made at the level of up to $400,000 per recipient institution commensurate with the scope and extent of the activities. Up to 50 institutions are expected to receive awards in each round of this funding opportunity, depending upon availability of funds and the quality of proposals received.


The purpose of this solicitation is to broaden participation in innovation ecosystems that advance emerging technologies (e.g., advanced manufacturing, advanced wireless, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, semiconductors and microelectronics) by supporting capacity-building efforts at institutions of higher education (IHEs) interested in growing external partnerships. Creation of this program is motivated by the commitment of the National Science Foundation (NSF), including the newly established NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP), to accelerating scientific and technological innovation nationwide and empowering all Americans to participate in the U.S. research and innovation enterprise. Establishing more inclusive innovation ecosystems will require broad networks of partners working together in support of use-inspired research; the translation of such research to practice or commercial application; and the development of a skilled workforce. The NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program, housed within the TIP Directorate, seeks to grow inclusive innovation ecosystems around the country. Growing such ecosystems will only be successful if all interested IHEs within a region are able to participate and contribute their unique set of skills and expertise. However, NSF appreciates many Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year institutions lack the infrastructure and resources needed to grow external partnerships and effectively contribute to innovation ecosystems, and thus are currently unable to effectively engage with the NSF Engines program.