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Author: Arch Street
New NSF workforce development program opens doors in emerging technology fields
The U.S. National Science Foundation launched a new $30 million workforce development program, Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies, or ExLENT. The program will expand practical learning opportunities for individuals interested in entering or gaining more experience in emerging and novel technology areas such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, and semiconductors and microelectronics. With awards of up to $1 million over three years, the program will promote partnerships between organizations in emerging technology fields and those with expertise in workforce development.
Using a cohort model and emphasizing the importance of mentorship, the ExLENT program will connect interested companies, governments and nonprofits with current and potential learners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are seeking paid opportunities to explore career paths and develop skills in emerging technology areas.
ExLENT offers experiential learning opportunities for people with varying STEM experience levels to advance in new and emerging technology fields. They include opportunities for current STEM professionals to pivot into new careers in emerging technology fields, opportunities for those with limited STEM training to gain deeper knowledge and experience, and for participants with no prior STEM experience to build interest, motivation, and knowledge in an emerging technology field and inspire them to further explore pathways to potential careers in these areas.
ExLENT proposals are due March 2, 2023. For more information, visit Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT).
Webinar: How Can the CHIPS and Science Act Deliver on Its Promises?
The CHIPS and Science Act is one of the most significant pieces of science legislation in years. With $180 billion for research and development over the next five years, it aims to bolster the semiconductor industry as well as federal science agencies like the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. But now comes what many observers view as the hardest part: not only must the money be appropriated, but the act must be implemented in a way that meets its many objectives. In the journal Issues in Science and Technology, several experts explore the ways the CHIPS and Science Act can deliver on its promises to spur innovation, strengthen regional economies and workforce, and promote US competitiveness. In addition, there will be a webinar on November 1st at 3 p.m. where these experts discuss how implementation of this important legislation can best meet—and balance—its many goals.
Announcement: Arch Street Now Supporting FYI Science Policy News
Arch Street is very pleased to announce that we are working with FYI Science Policy News to produce content for their regular bulletins on science and technology policy. FYI is the the editorially independent science policy news service from the American Institute of Physics and is considered the go-to source on science policy information and topical updates. Arch Street’s first bulletin on Regional Innovation Provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act is now live. Special thanks to Mitch Ambrose and Will Thomas of AIP for their encouragement and support.
CHIPS for America Seeks Public Input on Financial Incentives, New Institutes for Semiconductor Manufacturing
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) CHIPS for America initiative is seeking public input on two programs that aim to restore U.S. global leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. Both were authorized under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act.
The CHIPS for America initiative includes two main components. First, it provides financial incentives to encourage investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Second, it establishes collaborative networks for research and innovation that will ensure an enduring technological edge. The two Requests for Information (RFIs) cover both aspects of the initiative.
Round 2 of the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Open
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) recently launched the second Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize. The EPIC Prize recognizes the nation’s most innovative incubators in the field of energy. EPIC awards cash prizes to regional incubator teams that submit the most creative and impactful plans, then implement those plans to develop strong clusters, connections, and support for energy startups and entrepreneurs. A total of $4 million is available for multiple awards. For more information about EPIC and how to apply see the program FAQ. Proposals are due by October 25, 2022.
Dept. of Commerce Appoints Industrial Advisory Committee, Will Advise on Chips R&D
The Department of Commerce appointed 24 members to the Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), an advisory body providing guidance to the Secretary of Commerce on a range of issues related to domestic semiconductor R&D. The Department emphasized in its release announcing the appointment that the new IAC will not select recipients of federal financial assistance under the CHIPS & Science Act, including semiconductor manufacturing incentives.
The Industrial Advisory Committee was established by Congress in 2021 by the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (FY 2021 NDAA). According to the Department, the IAC “will provide advice on the science and technology needs of the nation’s domestic microelectronics industry, the national strategy on microelectronics research, the research and development programs and other advanced microelectronics activities funded through CHIPS for America, and opportunities for new public-private partnerships.”
The committee comprises leaders from across the microelectronics field, including academia, industry, federal laboratories, and other stakeholders. The committee will be chaired by Mike Splinter, former CEO of Applied Materials, and Susan Feindt, a fellow and executive at Analog Devices, will serve as vice-chair.
NSF launches entrepreneurial fellowships for engineers and scientists
The U.S. National Science Foundation announced a new $20 million investment in Entrepreneurial Fellowships through a multi-year cooperative agreement with Activate.org. The Activate Fellows supported by NSF will be scientists and engineers from a variety of backgrounds and regions across the U.S. who will translate research breakthroughs to new products and services with broad societal benefits.
The Entrepreneurial Fellowships will help make entrepreneurship more accessible for people in less-developed innovation ecosystems, expanding geographic diversity and increasing participation of women and others who have been traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Over two years, Entrepreneurial Fellows will receive training and at least $350,000 in direct support, plus access to specialized research facilities and equipment through Activate. The fellows will advance their prototypes, refine their business models, build their teams, and secure follow-on funding. The initiative will be run by Activate.org, a nonprofit organization that launched the entrepreneurial fellowship model with the Cyclotron Road program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has partnered with U.S.-based funders and research institutions to grow the approach.
The initiative includes three possible pathways for scientists and engineers to participate:
Activate Anywhere — A connected, yet not co-located, community of fellows that allows for any qualified scientist anywhere in the country to benefit from Activate fellowship support and leverage the concentrated resources of traditional innovation centers where Activate has in-residence offerings.
A New Activate In-residence Community — A new in-person location that expands physical communities beyond Activate’s existing locations ensuring that a regional hub exists for any fellow across the country who wants to be in-residence, and to strengthen the national base of resources that any fellow across the network can leverage.
Pre-doctoral Translational Research Experience — A new mechanism aimed at expanding opportunities for diverse talent and overcoming racial imbalance in the science innovation ecosystem by supporting pre-doctoral scientists and engineers and exposing them to nascent science-based startups under the mentorship of Activate’s network.
To learn more about Entrepreneurial Fellowships including how to apply, visit https://www.activate.org/apply.
Webinar: The Role of Engineering to Address Climate Change
The Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable will convene a webinar to discuss a recent report on The Role of Engineering to Address Climate Change by the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA). ERVA visioning events enable the engineering research community to identify opportunities and priorities for high-impact research that addresses global and societal change. This report focuses on specific research directions through which engineering can effectively be used to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The event’s Thematic Task Force, comprised of academic, corporate, and non-profit experts, was responsible for the content planning. During this webinar, the co-chair of the Thematic Task Force, Bruce Logan, Director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at the Pennsylvania State University; and ERVA co-PI, Anthony Boccanfuso, President and CEO of University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, will present on the identified research priorities and key recommendations in the report, and will discuss the engineering research community’s role in enabling convergent and inclusive climate solutions.
Link to register: https://nasem.zoom.us/webinar/register/6916626510048/WN_ZXCXq4ltR72_Tx3Kai9xPQ
Arch Street Talks NSF, CHIPS and Science on ChinaTalk Podcast
Tim Clancy of Arch Street was a guest on a recent episode of the ChinaTalk podcast on The Science of the “Chips + Science Bill” where he discussed the recent CHIPS and Science Act and how the often overlooked science provisions of the legislation could have a profound impact on the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. science and engineering enterprise overall. He was joined by hosts Jordan Schneider and Jacob Feldgoise and Tobin Smith, Senior Vice President for Science Policy & Global Affairs at the American Association of Universities (AAU).