NIST calls for research on innovative technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued its first request for research papers that address critical national needs, which will help NIST decide which projects to fund through its new Technology Innovation Program.

Created in 2007 under the America Competes Act, TIP is the successor to the Advanced Technology Program. It seeks to speed development of high-risk but transformative research that could solve major societal challenges.

The first TIP competition spans eight categories, including civil infrastructure, alternative energy, nanotechnology and personalized medicine. In the information technology-related area of complex networks and systems, NIST said in a Federal Register notice that the United States increasingly relies on energy delivery, telecommunications, transportation and finance systems but has imperfect control over them.

NIST is looking for white papers that will improve understanding of the technical and mathematical processes involved in simulating and modeling such systems because current methodologies are unable to predict and control them. TIP will make cost-shared awards of no more than 50 percent of total costs to a wide range of organizations, from for-profit companies to colleges and universities, national laboratories and nonprofit research institutions.

However, the lead partner must be a small or midsize business or an academic institution. Awards will be limited to no more than $3 million for three years for single-company projects and no more than $9 million for five years for joint ventures. Earlier in 2008, NIST said it expected to award about $9 million in first-year funding.

Deadlines for submitting papers span several months, beginning Jan. 15 and ending July 13.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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