Date Open: 
National Science Foundation
Agency Deadline: 
Limit per Institution: 
Important Notes: 
There is a limit of one (1) for the PFI-RP track. No limit for the PFI-TT track.

NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)

Solicitation: NSF 19-506 - two submission opportunities.

July 14, 2021

  • Internal Letter of Intent Deadline: May 17, 2021, 5pm (pst).   This is for the PFI-RP track.     
  • Institutional Limit: There is a limit of one (1) for the PFI-RP track.
  • Agency Deadline: July 14, 2021

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers the opportunity to transform new knowledge into societal benefits through translational research and technology development efforts which catalyze partnerships to accelerate innovations that address significant societal needs.

PFI has five broad goals: (1) identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization; (2) supporting prior or current NSF-sponsored researchers, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education to undertake proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF-funded research and have potential market value; (3) promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF-funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology; (4) developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry; (5) providing professional development activities, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.

This solicitation offers two broad tracks for proposals in pursuit of the aforementioned goals.

1. The Technology Translation (PFI-TT) - no limit.

2. The Research Partnerships (PFI-RP)  - There is a limit of one (1) for the PFI-RP track.

  • Limit: New - There is no limit on the number of PFI-TT proposals an organization may submit.  There is a limit of one (1) for the PFI-RP track.
  • Award Amount: PFI-TT projects will be funded for up to $250,000 for 18-24  months per award; approximately 40-45 awards are anticipated. PFI-RP projects will be funded for up to $550,000 over 36 months with approximately 10-15 awards anticipated.
Status: Open

PFI-RP proposals should focus on applied research and commercialization projects that specifically depend on highly collaborative partnerships between academic researchers and industrial partners. The proposed project should further scientific and engineering foundational outcomes to enable breakthrough technologies with the potential to address critical industrial and societal needs.

General guidance for the preparation of letters of intent to the Research Office: 

Project Summary (1-2 pages):

  • Provide an overview of the objective of your proposed research, how you plan to do it, and the expected outcome.
  • Please address the following: societal need and customer, value proposition, innovation description, project team and partnerships, training and leadership development in innovation and entrepreneurship, NSF lineage. Make sure to include a description of the required industrial partner. (See solicitation for a description of these components). Justification for NSF support explaining why this research fits with the RFP and strategic goals of NSF
Project Team (1-2 pages):
  • List and short descriptions (title, institutional affiliation, project role) of the PI, co-PIs or senior personnel, and industry partner.
  • Budget Overview (Up to 1 page):
    • A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; budgets are not required.

Questions or problems with the Smartsheet form: