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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) 2017

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological and Physical Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:August 23, 2016
Subject:NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) 2017 16-591


Deadline for Internal Review:September 20, 2016

Project Description

Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with at least one industry partner to carry out research to advance, adapt, and integrate technology(ies) into a specified, human-centered smart service system. The selected service system should function as a technology test bed.

Partnership projects are open to any knowledge domain or application area and should be focused on translational, pre-commercialization space, building on novel fundamental research discoveries with the objective of creating or transforming a “smart(er)” service system that has the potential for significant social and economic impact.

Amount per Award: Up to $1,000,000
Duration of Award: 3 Years
Number of Awards: 10 Awards


UW-Madison is allowed to submit 2 Letters of Intent followed by full Proposals as lead institution. Please read the solicitation for full list of requirements.

Minimum partnership requirement. One primary partner (either a for-profit or a not-for profit industrial partner aka a corporate or a business partner) that has commercial revenues is required. It is essential that a designated minimally-qualifying industrial partner have experience with having brought a product, process, service, or system to the marketplace, thereby providing an informed business perspective to the academe-industry team.

A lead academic institution that has submitted a proposal has the option to participate as a subawardee on additional proposals submitted under this solicitation. Lead academic institutions that have submitted a proposal may also provide consultants to other proposals submitted under this solicitation. There is no limit on the number of times an institution is a subawardee or a consultant in proposals lead by another academic institution.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

Please attach a PDF containing information requested in NSF LOI Solicitation:

(This is the Content/Format requirements taken directly from the NSF solicitation)

Letters of intent have length limitations. The first two sections, Synopsis and Other Comments (each 2500 characters maximum, including spaces), should be used to convey important aspects of the project, such as information about the areas of expertise that comprise the three required components of this project: 1) engineered service system design and integration; 2) computing, sensing, and information technologies; and 3) human factors, behavioral sciences, or cognitive engineering.

Under Additional Information, three (3) data fields are provided. Each data field can contain a maximum of 255 characters or approximately 30 words for each section. For PFI:BIC, these are as follows:

  • Test Bed for Technology Integration: Briefly describe the technology-based service system and how the technology will make it “smart” or “smarter” and contribute to its efficacy.
  • Primary Industrial Partner(s): Provide for each: Name, Founding Date, Number of Employees, Location (City & State), Commercial Revenues for the preceding calendar year, and Project Role (s). Reasonable abbreviations can be used. If you cannot accommodate the information, include the rest of the information under Other Comments (see above).
  • Human Factors Research Tasks to be carried out which are essential to the design of the smart service system. List a few major research activities which illustrate how human-centered design considerations will be informed by the human factors research tasks.

Sponsor Deadlines

Letters of Intent are due to National Science Foundation by October 14, 2016. Applications are due to National Science Foundation by November 16, 2016.