NSF Adds New Multi-Institutional Great Plains I-Corps Hub

Posted on: September 8, 2022   |   Categories: Announcements, News & Updates
NSF I-Corps Hubs

NDSU named lead institution for $14 million NSF Great Plains I-Corps Hub

The U.S. National Science Foundation today announced the addition of five new NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Hubs that will scale the NSF-led National Innovation Network, accelerating the translation of discoveries into new solutions that benefit society.

In addition to the new Great Plains I-Corps Hub that will be led by North Dakota State University and include four South Dakota universities, the other four new I-Corps Hubs will be led by Arizona State University, Cornell University, The University of Texas at Austin, and Vanderbilt University.

Each I-Corps Hub is funded for up to $3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The first five I-Corps Hubs were awarded in 2021, with each Hub expanding its reach this year by adding a new partner institution to their region.

Nsf Great Plains I Corps Hub

Great Plains Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hub

North Dakota State University has been awarded a $14 million grant over five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a multi-institutional Great Plains Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hub that will provide immersive, entrepreneurial training for scientists and engineers with the goal of moving ideas to commercialization.

The Hub will consist of eight partner programs, each bringing unique strengths and benefits:

  • Lead: North Dakota State University
  • The University of North Dakota
  • South Dakota State University
  • South Dakota Mines
  • Dakota State University
  • The University of South Dakota
  • The University of Wyoming
  • The University of Nebraska Omaha

National Innovation Network

I-Corps Hubs provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers across all fields of science and engineering. I-Corps Hubs form the operational backbone of the National Innovation Network — a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, local and regional entrepreneurial communities and other federal agencies — that help researchers translate fundamental research results to the marketplace. The I-Corps Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the U.S.

“I am delighted the I-Corps Hubs that we are awarding today will expand the footprint of the National Innovation Network, harnessing the innovation potential that exists all across the country by establishing clear pathways for researchers to engage with NSF’s Lab-to-Market Platform,” said Erwin Gianchandani, NSF Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. “Each regional I-Corps Hub provides training essential in entrepreneurship and customer discovery, leading to new products, startups and jobs. In this way, the I-Corps program will open up new economic opportunities throughout the United States.”

Established in 2011, the I-Corps program is designed to support the commercialization of deep technologies, which grow from discoveries in fundamental science and engineering. Since its inception, approximately 2,800 NSF I-Corps teams have participated in the program.

The newly funded I-Corps Hubs will join the five Hubs funded last year to serve national needs through the following areas of responsibility:

  • Create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance the nation’s innovation capacity.
  • Identify, develop and support promising research that can generate economic value.
  • Gather, analyze, evaluate, and utilize the data and insights resulting from the experiences of those participating in local, regional and national I-Corps programs.
  • Provide opportunities to diverse communities of innovators.
  • Share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale to impact economic growth and improve quality of life throughout the nation.

For more information, visit NSF’s I-Corps website.