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NSF, U.S. Establishes New Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

During his presentation on Reinvigorating Science and Technology for the Future of U.S. Innovation, National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan announced a new directorate within the US NSF centred on Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships, or TIP. This new directorate, the NSF’s first in more than 30 years, builds on the agency’s commitment to serving as a beacon of American ingenuity for the past seven decades, advancing the frontiers of research and education in all fields of science and engineering.

TIP is a key first step in accelerating the creation of new technologies and products that will improve Americans’ quality of life, grow the economy and generate new employment, and reinforce and sustain the United States’ competitiveness for decades to come.

NSF’s TIP Directorate will accelerate discovery and innovation to rapidly bring new technologies to market and address the most pressing societal and economic challenges of our time. By pursuing new approaches that engage the nation’s broad and diverse population in shaping research directions and outcomes, TIP will be a game-changer in terms of the pace of technological breakthroughs, future job growth and national competitiveness.

We at NSF are grateful for the continued strong support from the Administration and Congress that has made this possibility a reality. We look forward to the passage of the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which will be the next critical step in ensuring TIP can generate a transformational evolution in translating America’s research to expand our economic leadership in the technologies of the future.

− Sethuraman Panchanathan, National Science Foundation Director

NSF intends to undertake a series of integrated projects through TIP. These initiatives will work together to advance critical and emerging technologies, accelerate the translation of research findings from the lab to the market and society, and cultivate new educational pathways that will lead to a diverse and skilled future technical workforce that includes researchers, practitioners, technicians, and entrepreneurs. This will undoubtedly broaden the scope of innovation and aid in the achievement of NSF’s Missing Millions of objectives.

Notably, TIP will develop regional “innovation engines” across the United States over time. These innovation engines will promote use-inspired research, entrepreneurship, and workforce development to nurture and accelerate regional industries, ushering in a regional and national transformation of business and economic growth that strengthens bottom-up, middle-out growth in industries and communities across the country.

To advance the frontiers of new industries, the TIP Directorate will use strategic relationships spanning numerous disciplines and sectors, including biotechnology, cybersecurity, next-generation wireless networks, microelectronics and semiconductors, and quantum computing platforms.

TIP will also make science and technology more accessible to all Americans by building a national footprint and creative education pathways for anybody interested in pursuing new, high-paying, high-quality professions in science and technology. TIP is a vital component of NSF’s support for future science and technology leaders who reflect the United States’ broad cultural and geographic diversity – one of the country’s greatest competitive and leadership advantages.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, when President Joe Biden outlined his infrastructure spending plans, his administration committed $180 billion to research and development and future industries. One of the top five priorities outlined in the plan is quantum computing, which experts see as central to leapfrogging high-tech innovation and best positioning America as a technology leader.

With quantum computers, researchers and scientists can store and process information faster than ever, solve complex problems today’s computers cannot solve and integrate powerful insights into everything from weather patterns to the intricacies of the human genome. But as quantum computing solves some problems, it also creates new ones. Networks must be optimised and managed, systems secured and quantum-ready data centres built.

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