NSF Regional Innovation Engines

The NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program creates regional-scale, technology-driven, inclusive innovation ecosystems throughout the United States by accelerating key technologies, addressing regional, national, societal, and/or geostrategic challenges, driving economic growth, creating and retaining quality jobs, expanding equitable pathways into careers, and strengthening national competitiveness and security.

Each NSF Engine represents a formal coalition of regional partners, led by a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO), tasked to carry out an integrated and comprehensive set of activities spanning use-inspired research, translation of innovation to practice, entrepreneurship, workforce development, community engagement, and ecosystem building, to nurture and accelerate the growth of regional innovation ecosystems grounded in technological innovation and regional, national, societal, and/or geostrategic challenges.

The mission of an NSF Engine must be clearly rooted in regional interests and reflect the aspiration that a regional innovation ecosystem can help build strong communities where all residents can thrive. This includes the equitable development of regional talent, intentional community engagement, and attention to impacts on a region’s identities and cultures.

The NSF Engines program is a placed-based innovation funding initiative, where the emphasis on “regions” expresses NSF’s aim to stimulate innovation-driven economic growth within a particular place or region of service. The emphasis of the NSF Engines program further includes creating new business and economic growth in sectors that are critical to American competitiveness and in those regions of America that have not fully participated in the technology boom of the past several decades.

This opportunity is limited to one proposal per university – to be considered, you must submit an internal cover letter to the Office of Research. The internal deadline has been extended to May 31st.

NSF Engines Funding Amount

NSF intends to fund all high-quality NSF Engines proposals to expand the geography of American innovation. The overall number of awards will be determined by the number of high-quality proposals received and the availability of funds appropriated by Congress. NSF Engines can be funded for up to ten years, with an initial award for the first two years and subsequent awards for years 3-5 and 6-10, based on performance reviews and evaluations.

The NSF Engine can be funded for up to a total of $15,000,000 in Years 1-2.
The NSF Engine can be funded at up to $15,000,000 per year in Years 3-5.
The NSF Engine can be funded at up to $20,000,000 per year in Years 6-10.
The total amount of an award will not exceed $160,000,000 from NSF (over a period not exceeding ten years).

NSF Engines Timeline

  • Internal Deadline: Friday, May 31, 2024
    • A Cover Letter must be received by Friday, May 31, 2024.
      • If more than one PI takes interest in this funding opportunity, more information on the project will be requested.
    • Internal Review: Coordinated by the Office of Research
  • Notification: Monday, June 10, 2024
    • Submission: After official notification has been given, faculty will work with the Office of Research and their Research Administrator to complete the agency submission and follow standard eRex procedures to submit through WSU.
  • Agency Deadlines
    • Required Letter of Intent: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
    • Required Preliminary Proposal: Tuesday, August 6, 2024
    • Full Proposal: Tuesday, February 11, 2025

Questions? Contact Kim Christen by email at kachristen@wsu.edu.