From National Science Foundation
NSF planning six new Science and Technology Center awards The National Science Foundation (NSF) is considering funding six new Science and Technology Centers (STCs) nationwide that will conduct research in topics as varied as space weather, new water-purification techniques and new materials for information technology.
STCs serve as critical national resources, conducting innovative research and exemplary educational activities.
While the specific details of the agreements will be worked out between NSF and the institutions in the coming months, NSF has agreed to commit about $115 million over five years.
Program guidelines allow for financial commitments of up to $20 million for each center, but actual awards are subject to negotiation between NSF and the lead institutions.
The centers consist of a lead institution and multiple partners that may include other academic institutions, industry and national laboratories. Expected lead institutions include: Boston University; the University of California, Davis; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; and the University of Washington, Seattle.
"The range of awards NSF plans to make reflects the enormous diversity of fundamental research that NSF funds and we expect that these centers will important strides in advancing knowledge in these fields and in communicating that knowledge to the public," said Dragana Brzakovic, staff associate in NSF's Office of Integrative Activities.
Among the anticipated new awards is one led by Boston University to build a comprehensive physics-based numerical simulation model that describes the space environment from the sun to the earth. UC Davis will lead a center to study biophotonics, or the use of light to visualize biological materials. A center led by UCLA will design embedded networked sensing systems for various applications, including seismic and environmental monitoring.
Among other centers, the University of Illinois will study new approaches to purifying water supplies. At the University of Minnesota, new analytical tools will be refined and developed to study the various processes that sculpt the Earth's surface. A center led by the University of Washington will examine innovations in materials to aid in advancing computer and telecommunications research.
NSF established the Science and Technology Center program in 1987, responding to a Presidential commitment to fund important fundamental research activities that also create educational opportunities. The program was also designed to encourage technology transfer and provide innovative approaches to interdisciplinary research challenges. In 1997, the STC program was modified to emphasize the contributions of partnerships.