Program Summary

Program Summary

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.

Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 4 to 7

Anticipated Funding Amount: $6,000,000 to $8,500,000

Track 1: I-Corps Node Development - new I-Corps Node awardees - to be supported at a level of up to:

  • $1,200,000 (years 1 and 2)
  • $900,000 (year 3)
  • $600,000 (year 4)
  • $300,000 (year 5)

Track 2: I-Corps Node Renewal - previously funded I-Corps Nodes - to be supported at a level of up to:

  • $900,000 (years 1 and 2)
  • $750,000 (year 3)
  • $600,000 (year 4)
  • $300,000 (year 5)

The PI must be an academic Administrative Lead at the level of Dean or higher, preferably at the level of a provost or vice-president.

Application Limits

Application Limits

Organizations may only be a participant in one proposal per deadline. In addition, organizations may only be associated with one I-Corps Node that is receiving funding from NSF at a given time.

PLEASE NOTE: Institutions that are the Lead organization for an existing Node may only participate in a Track 2 proposal submission.

Additional Information


UIC Letter of Intent
February 23, 2016
UIC Internal Competition
Sponsor Letter of Intent
March 10, 2016 (required)
Sponsor Application
May 10, 2016

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form


Depending upon the number of LOIs submitted, OVCR might be required to facilitate an internal peer review process to select UIC’s submission(s) to this program.  White paper instructions will distributed to those who have submitted LOIs.


Please contact Tony Halford at or 6-7036 with any questions.


If an authorized principal investigator is not listed above, please consider the limited competition still open. Contact for further information.