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University of Wisconsin–Madison

NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) 2019 (Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) track)

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:October 25, 2018
Subject:NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) 19-506


Deadline for Internal Review:November 08, 2018

Project Description

You will only need to submit your project for internal review if you are pursuing the Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) track

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.

PFI has five broad goals, as set forth by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (“the Act”, S.3084 — 114th CongressSec. 602. Translational Research Grants): (1) identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization; (2) supporting prior or current NSF-sponsored investigators, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education in undertaking proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF-sponsored research and have potential market value; (3) promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF-funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology; (4) developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry; (5) providing professional development, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.

This solicitation offers two broad tracks for proposals in pursuit of the aforementioned goals:

  1. The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program funds technology translation and development based on prior NSF-funded research projects from all science and engineering disciplines supported by NSF.
  2. PFI contains two separate tracks for submission: PFI-Technology Translation (PFI-TT) and PFI-Research Partnerships (PFI-RP).
  3. PFI-TT projects will be funded for up to $250,000 for 18-24 months per award; approximately 40-50 awards are anticipated.
  4. There is no limit on the number of PFI-TT proposals an organization may submit to a deadline of this solicitatiom.
  5. The PFI-RP track requires the creation and implementation of new multidisciplinary, multi-organization partnerships between academia, industry and other public and private entities to pursue new innovative technology development projects.
  6. Submission deadlines are now available in January and July.

PFI-RP projects

Amount per Award: Up to $550,000.00
Duration of Award: 3 Years
Number of Awards: 10-15 Awards


The PI must have the technical skills required to lead and execute the proposed research project.

PFI-RP proposals must include, without exception, a co-PI who is a member or employee of the required Industrial Partner organization. PFI-RP proposals without an Industrial Partner co-PI may be returned without review.

An organization may not submit more than one (1) new or resubmitted PFI-RP proposal to a deadline of this solicitation


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

Please include the following information:

  • Cover Sheet including team members, partners
  • CV
  • 3 page description of how your program meets the goals of the solicitation.

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to National Science Foundation by January 17, 2019.