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Directorate for Engineering

Innovation Corps - Nodes Program  (I-Corps Nodes)

NSF Pilots I-Corps for Non-Academic Teams

In 2016, the National Science Foundation will launch a pilot “Phase Zero” I-Corps program for non-academic teams to help determine the commercial readiness of their technology concept, and identify the key obstacles that must be overcome to launch their product into the marketplace.

Teams will receive the national I-Corps training as well as additional training to address some of the more common issues in startup formation including incorporation, IP licensing and negotiation, fundraising, etc. These training programs will help “Phase Zero” teams to better prepare a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal.

Name Email Phone Room
Lydia  McClure (703) 292-8798   


Solicitation  16-539

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    May 9, 2017

    Second Tuesday in May, Annually Thereafter

Letter of Intent Deadline Date

    March 9, 2017

    Second Thursday in March, Annually Thereafter


The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to further develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products, processes and services that benefit society. The goal of the program is to dramatically reduce the period of time necessary to bring a promising idea from its inception to widespread implementation.

Through this solicitation, NSF plans to build upon the established National Innovation Network (consisting of I-Corps Nodes and Sites) to further support the needs for innovation research, education and training. NSF is seeking to expand and sustain the network of I-Corps Nodes that work cooperatively to support the development of innovations that will benefit society. The interconnected nodes of the network are expected to be diverse in research areas, resources, tools, programs, capabilities, and geographic locations - providing the network with the flexibility to grow or reconfigure as needs arise.

I-Corps Nodes will foster understanding on how to: 1) identify, develop and support promising ideas that can generate value, 2) create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance our nation's innovation capacity, 3) gather, analyze, evaluate and utilize the data and insight resulting from the experiences of those participating in regional programs and 4) share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale - to improve the quality of life for the U.S. citizenry. In addition, Nodes must identify and are expected to implement plans for sustainable scaling of their efforts beyond the duration of NSF support.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program