NSF Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel)

NSF CONVERGENCE ACCELERATOR OVERVIEW


The NSF Convergence Accelerator is a brand-new structure that is unique for NSF and the federal government. This video explains what the Convergence Accelerator is about and what has been accomplished with the 2019 cohort of teams.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announcement - CONVERGENCE ACCELERATOR PILOT COHORT EXPO - Expo 2020 is the “must attend” inaugural event for the NSF Convergence Accelerator and the Pilot Cohort. This is your opportunity to see results from the first 41 teams and talk with them about what they’ve accomplished and where they’re headed in Phase 2.  To attend the July 1 - 2, 2020 event, you must register by clicking here.

Announcement on NSF 20-565 - WEBINAR - The NSF Convergence Accelerator is excited to announce the release of the 2020 Phase I and II Program Solicitation (NSF 20-565). For the slides and recordings of the two informational webinars we recently hosted for invited Track C and D Phase I proposals, click on the hyperlinks below.

The 2020 NSF Convergence Accelerator consists of two tracks as follows: Quantum Technology (Track C) and AI-Driven Innovation via Data and Model Sharing (Track D). NSF 20-565 contains detailed descriptions of these two tracks and NSF’s expectations of your submissions.

  • Phase I proposal submission is by invitation only (based on the previously reviewed preliminary proposals) and will be due July 10, 2020. Phase I awards are expected to occur in September 2020 and awardees will participate in cohort activities for nine months.
  • Phase I teams will participate in the Convergence Accelerator curriculum, which pushes them to identify and expand partnerships with end-users, other stakeholders, and other teams, allowing them to refine their plans for Phase II. All Phase II proposals must be built upon a foundation developed by one or more Phase I awards. Phase II proposals will occur in Spring 2021.

June 17, 2020 Webinar: click on the following hyperlinks for the recording and transcript from this event.

June 18, 2020 Webinar: click on the following hyperlinks for the recording and transcript from this event.

For the slides presented during these webinars, click here.


REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON FUTURE TOPICS

(DEADLINE FOR NSF 20-061 EXTENDED TO MAY 29, 2020)

The purpose of this RFI and call for future topics conference proposals is to seek input from global industry, institutions of higher education (IHEs), non-profits, government entities, and other interested parties on potential NSF Convergence Accelerator tracks for FY 2021.

NSF 20-061 Request for Information on Future Topics for the NSF Convergence Accelerator Dear Colleague Letter

Topic submissions due via SurveyMonkey by May 29, 2020.

Workshop and conference requests for FY20 funding due by May 29, 2020.

General instructions for conference proposals may be found in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, chapter II.E.7

SERVING AS A REVIEWER AND C-ACCEL UPDATES

Are you interested in serving as a reviewer for future proposals? Would you like to stay informed and receive direct updates from our team? If so, fill out the SurveyMonkey and we'll be in touch. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CAccel.

Specifically interested in reviewing proposals for Track C: Quantum Technology or Track D: AI-Driven Innovation via Data and Model Sharing? If so, fill out this SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CAccelReviewers.

ACTIVE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Our current active solicitation is NSF 20-565. NSF DCL 20-061, listed above, is also open.

WHAT IS A CONVERGENCE ACCELERATOR?

NSF’s Convergence Accelerator effort is a new capability within NSF to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance via partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders. The C-Accel effort provides a home for this research and advances ideas from concept to deliverables.

Key Characteristics:

  • Use-inspired and application oriented
  • Fed by basic research & discovery
  • Adopts a convergent approach
  • Integrated teams including industry, academics, not-for-profits, government entities, and others
  • Fixed term, with a focus on deliverables
  • Intensive education and mentorship
  • Proactively and intentionally managed

BACKGROUND

NSF’s Convergence Accelerator Pilot issued its first set of awards in September 2019. The Convergence Accelerator is a new capability within NSF to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance that supports two of the Big Ideas and seeks to engage partnerships – notably public-private partnerships. The initial set of pilot awards are focused on two of the Big Ideas: Harnessing the Data Revolution (Track A) and Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (Track B). A total of 43 new awards in both tracks, totaling $39 million, support projects across the country that are identifying new ways to apply Big Data to science and engineering and create technologies that can enhance the lives of American workers.

The NSF Convergence Accelerator pilot started out with a singular vision: identify areas of research where investment in convergent approaches – those bringing together people from across disciplines, united to solve problems – have the potential to translate to high-benefit results and advance ideas from concept to deliverables. The Convergence Accelerator seeks to expand and refine NSF’s efforts to support fundamental scientific exploration by creating partnerships that could potentially include stakeholders from industry, foundations, government, nonprofits and other sectors. The first set of awards made through the Convergence Accelerator will leverage multidisciplinary research and lay the groundwork for public-private partnerships with industry, including Fortune 100 companies.

To view a listing of the awards, please see the following links:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Is your organization new to submitting to NSF? If so, check out our supplementary guidance on submitting proposals to the NSF Convergence Accelerator by clicking here.

Information from past webinars may be found below:

  • A Webinar on C-Accel Solicitation 20-565 was held on April 16, 2020. Click to view the PowerPoint and video (transcript and closed captioning available as well via the video link).
  • A Webinar on C-Accel Solicitation 20-565 was held on April 16, 2020. Click to view the PowerPoint and video (transcript and closed captioning available as well via the video link).
  • A Webinar on C-Accel was held on March 27, 2019. Click to view the Video, Powerpoint and Transcript from the event.

  • A 2nd Webinar on C-Accel was held on April 3, 2019. Click to view the Video and Transcript from the event.

  • A 3rd Webinar on C-Accel was held on April 9, 2019. Click to view the Video and Transcript from the event.

  • A Webinar on C-Accel - Invited Full Proposals was held on May 14, 2019. Click to view the Video, PowerPoint and Transcript.

  • A Webinar on C-Accel - Invited Full Proposals was held on May 21, 2019. Click to view the Video and Transcript.

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 20-555 Convergence Accelerator Solicitation

CONTACT INFORMATION; C-Accel@nsf.gov

  W. Douglas Maughan Office Head dmaughan@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-2497
         
  Chaitanya Baru Senior Advisor cbaru@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-2473
         
  Lara Campbell Program Director lcampbel@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-7049
         
  Nakhiah Goulbourne Program Director ngoulbou@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-7715
         
  Ibrahim Mohedas AAAS Fellow imohedas@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-4329
         
  Linda Molnar Program Director lmolnar@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-8316
         
  Michael Pozmantier Program Director mpozmant@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-4475
         
  Talitha Washington Program Director twashing@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-4640
         
  Pradeep Fulay Expert pfulay@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-2445
         
  Cody Bowles Program Analyst cobowles@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-2271