A component from the modular robot developed by NSF Small Business Innovation Research grantee Barobo Inc. Credit: Barobo Inc.
March 29, 2012, the National Science Foundation (NSF) conducted a
bipartisan congressional briefing sponsored by the Coalition for
National Science Funding and hosted by the Congressional Research and
Development Caucus and its Co-Chairs Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Judy Biggert
(IL-13) and special guests Representatives Daniel Lipinski (IL-3) and
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18).
60 years, NSF has played a central role in innovation by catalyzing the
development of fundamental ideas in science and engineering and
supporting the people who generate them,” said NSF Director Subra
Suresh. “NSF remains the nation’s engine of innovation, the fuel for
which is fundamental research. NSF’s mission positions it to stimulate
innovative research that connects the science and engineering enterprise
with potential economic, societal and educational benefits.”
supports a broad range of fundamental science and engineering research.
Through a series of innovation programs, NSF continues to catalyze the
transformation of fundamental research efforts into market reality and
nurture the commercialization of technology, creating high-quality jobs
and economic growth. These NSF programs leverage partnerships with the
private sector in order to strengthen the nation’s innovation ecosystem,
enhancing America’s global economic competitiveness.
me congratulate the NSF for acknowledging the vitality of science in
America. As a former Member of the House Science Committee, I always say
that science is the work of the 21st century. We are now in the 21st
century,” said Rep. Lee at the briefing.
Lipinski said, “We need to do the best that we can to leverage the
research in this country and translate it into new products, new
businesses and new jobs. The NSF has a number of programs to do this: to
make research discoveries that create innovations and help spur the
briefing highlighted NSF-supported efforts, representing activities at
the three primary stages of innovation: (1) Making discoveries through
industrially relevant fundamental research, (2) creating new technology
companies, and (3) moving useful technology into the marketplace.
research is at the core of NSF’s mission, with the agency providing
$5.6 billion for fundamental science and engineering to 11,000 of our
nation’s colleges and universities. One mechanism NSF supports to
enhance basic research in partnership with industry is the
Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program.
Richard Haber, site director of the Ceramic, Composite, and Optical
Materials Center at Rutgers University, highlighted work from the I/UCRC
Haber spoke to how I/UCRCs conduct cutting-edge fundamental research
relevant to its industry and end-user members. He cited examples of
economic benefits through the successes of a New Jersey-based startup
company called Solidia Technologies, which produces a new kind of
concrete with a negative carbon footprint.
Kane, president of Illinois Partners is an industry mentor for the
Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. This past year, he has been
mentoring an I-Corps team led by Professor Yi Lu of the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, helping establish a company that will
further develop an innovative point-of-care medical diagnostic device.
The I-Corps program was very helpful in our developing a winning
commercial strategy. Our startup company GlucoSentient’s chances for
success are much higher due to the commercial analysis done with the
I-Corps curriculum,” said Kane.
Spoonamore, CEO and Chairman of ABSMaterials, Inc., shared his
company’s experiences as a beneficiary of NSF’s Small Business
Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
NSF SBIR funding that ABSMaterials has received is allowing innovations
in water quality to be validated, fielded and placed into the service
of American community needs far faster than otherwise possible,” said
SBIR program—begun at NSF in 1982 and a successful model for programs
now in 11 federal agencies—provides small businesses with support at the
critical early stages of research and development. ABSMaterials emerged
as a company ten years after its Chief Science Officer, Paul Edmiston,
received his first NSF grant for basic research. Edmiston has since
received an additional academic research grant and two SBIR grants to
further the work. The company has received five SBIR grants to further
speakers’ stories exemplify the value of NSF-funded basic research and
the partnerships that facilitate success in American innovation,” said
Thomas Peterson, Assistant Director for the Engineering Directorate at
NSF. “NSF has developed a strategy—utilizing its long-term experience,
existing programs and new initiatives—to increase the likelihood and
speed of commercializing discoveries. These discoveries can yield
high-value products and processes, new businesses and industries, as
well as expand high-quality employment and a more technologically
Source: National Science Foundation