Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

Program Mission:

The IUCRC program catalyzes breakthrough pre-competitive research by enabling close and sustained engagement between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government agencies.  IUCRCs help industry partners and government agencies connect directly and efficiently with university researchers to achieve three primary objectives: 1) Conduct high-impact research to meet shared and critical industrial needs in companies of all  sizes; 2) Enhance U.S. global leadership in driving innovative technology development, and 3)  Identify, mentor and develop a diverse, highly skilled science and engineering workforce.

Program Overview:

The IUCRC program provides a structure for academic researchers to conduct fundamental, pre-competitive research of shared interest to industry and government organizations. These organizations pay membership fees to a consortium so that they can collectively envision and fund research, with at least 90% of Member funds allocated to the direct costs of these shared research projects.

IUCRCs are formed around research areas of strategic interest to U.S. industry. Industry is defined very broadly to include companies (large and small), startups and non-profit organizations. Principal Investigators form a Center around emerging research topics of current research interest, in a pre-competitive space but with clear pathways to applied research and commercial development. Industry partners join at inception, as an existing Center grows or they inspire the creation of a new Center by recruiting university partners to leverage NSF support. Government agencies participate in IUCRCs as Members or by partnering directly with NSF at the strategic level.  

Universities, academic researchers, and students benefit from IUCRC participation through the research funding, the establishment and growth of industry partnerships, and educational and career placement opportunities for students. Industry Members benefit by accessing knowledge, facilities, equipment, and intellectual property in a highly cost-efficient model; leveraging Center research outcomes in their future proprietary projects; interacting in an informal, collaborative way with other private sector and government entities with shared interests; and identifying and recruiting talent.  NSF provides funding to support Center administrative costs and a governance framework to manage membership, operations, and evaluation.

Successful IUCRCs require:

  • A capable research/management team with an entrepreneurial mindset;
  • Universities, faculty, and students interested in engaging in research of interest to industry;
  • A community of industry partners seeking pre-competitive, use-inspired research projects.

Each IUCRC is expected to grow and become independently sustainable by the end of the NSF support. 

Deadlines:

  • Required Preliminary Proposal Deadline Date:  March 13, 2024; Sep. 11, 2024

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    Full Proposals: June 12, 2024; Dec. 11, 2024

       

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering
  • 47.083 --- Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.

The Principal Investigator (PI) on a proposal must be a tenured faculty member. Requests for waivers to allow non-tenured faculty or research staff to serve as PI must be submitted in writing to the cognizant Program Officer by the PI's supervisor (e.g., Department Chair or Dean) in advance of proposal submission. Further, written approval from the cognizant Program Director is required prior to proposal submission and should be included as a Single Copy Document in the proposal. The PI must act as the initial Site Director. A PI/Co-PI can have only one active IUCRC Site award at any given time.

There is no limit to the number of proposals an eligible organization may submit to this program as long as each proposal pertains to a different IUCRC.

PIs and Co-PIs can only submit one proposal per submission period. A PI/Co-PI can have only one active IUCRC Site award at any given time.

Amount Description

See full solicitation for details.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty
Institutional

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Interdisciplinary
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 13, 2024