From: National Science Foundation
Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The National Science Foundation has issued the first awards through its Convergence Accelerator pilot, leveraging multidisciplinary research teams and laying the groundwork for public-private partnerships with Fortune 500 companies to apply Big Data to science and engineering and create technologies that can enhance the lives of American workers. A total of 43 new awards totaling $39 million will support projects across the country.
The NSF Convergence Accelerator pilot started with a singular vision: to identify areas of research where investment in convergent approaches -- those bringing together people from across disciplines to solve problems that have the potential to yield high-benefit results.
The Convergence Accelerator seeks to expand and refine NSF's efforts to support fundamental scientific exploration through partnerships that include, or will include, stakeholders from industry, government, nonprofits and other sectors.
"The Convergence Accelerator is a unique new experiment for NSF," said Douglas Maughan, NSF's Convergence Accelerator office head. "For decades, traditionally the private sector has not been able to justify investment in basic research due to a lack of obvious commercial applications. With the Convergence Accelerator, we're challenging that notion, engaging with partners who can use their experience to help us support research that can change and enhance American society.
The first set of Convergence Accelerator awards has been awarded to research teams that include partners from academia, industry, government and communities that will work to enable capabilities far beyond what is currently possible in either the private or public sectors. It will evaluate how employers can use sophisticated artificial intelligence tools to connect with the workers they need. And it will seek ways to develop the future U.S. workforce with the universities that will educate people and the companies that will employ them.
This focus -- bringing together researchers with many different specialties, and partners from across the spectrum of scientific innovation and application -- will create environments where innovation can thrive.
The Convergence Accelerator pilot supports two of NSF's Big Ideas: Harnessing the Data Revolution and Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier. The Convergence Accelerator awards are focused on three areas:
All Convergence Accelerator awards have start dates in September of 2019.
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