(a) In general
The Director shall carry out a program to award merit-reviewed, competitive grants to institutions of higher education to establish and to expand partnerships that promote innovation and increase the impact of research by developing tools and resources to connect new scientific discoveries to practical uses.
(1) In general
To be eligible for funding under this section, an institution of higher education must propose establishment of a partnership that—
(A) includes at least one private sector entity; and
(B) may include other institutions of higher education, public sector institutions, private sector entities, and nonprofit organizations.
In selecting grant recipients under this section, the Director shall give priority to partnerships that include one or more institutions of higher education and at least one of the following:
(A) A minority serving institution.
(B) A primarily undergraduate institution.
(C) A 2-year institution of higher education.
Proposals funded under this section shall seek—
(1) to increase the impact of the most promising research at the institution or institutions of higher education that are members of the partnership through knowledge transfer or commercialization;
(2) to increase the engagement of faculty and students across multiple disciplines and departments, including faculty and students in schools of business and other appropriate non-STEM fields and disciplines in knowledge transfer activities;
(3) to enhance education and mentoring of students and faculty in innovation and entrepreneurship through networks, courses, and development of best practices and curricula;
(4) to strengthen the culture of the institution or institutions of higher education to undertake and participate in activities related to innovation and leading to economic or social impact;
(5) to broaden the participation of all types of institutions of higher education in activities to meet STEM workforce needs and promote innovation and knowledge transfer; and
(6) to build lasting partnerships with local and regional businesses, local and State governments, and other relevant entities.
(d) Additional criteria
In selecting grant recipients under this section, the Director shall also consider the extent to which the applicants are able to demonstrate evidence of institutional support for, and commitment to—
(1) achieving the goals of the program as described in subsection (c);
(2) expansion to an institution-wide program if the initial proposal is not for an institution-wide program; and
(3) sustaining any new innovation tools and resources generated from funding under this program.
No funds provided under this section may be used to construct or renovate a building or structure.
Section was enacted as part of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, also known as the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010, and also as part of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2010, and not as part of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 which comprises this chapter.
For definitions of terms used in this section, see section 2 of Pub. L. 111–358, set out as a note under section 6621 of this title, and section 502 of Pub. L. 111–358, set out as a note under section 1862p of this title.