[robotics-worldwide] Call for Participation - ICRA Forum on NSF's Innovation Corps and Entrepreneurial Education

Voyles, Richard M rvoyles at nsf.gov
Wed May 2 16:31:30 PDT 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


ICRA Forum, 3:00 - 5:00 pm


Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurial Education


Richard Voyles, NSF Program Director


In the United States, the National Science Foundation is developing a 

new program to reinvigorate entrepreneurship tied to 

federally-sponsored research. The Innovation Corps is an aggressive 

new program to train students and principal investigators in the 

subtleties of commercializing output of basic research. Researchers 

with NSF-sponsored research ideas that they believe are nearing 

commercial potential can apply for funding to help determine the 

business potential of ground-breaking ideas. To qualify for funding 

and make a go/no-go decision on commercialization potential, PIs must do
two things:

assemble an entrepreneurial team and commit the team to enroll in an 

NSF-supported entrepreneurship course tailored for engineers and


Education is a key pillar of the NSF mission and entrepreneurship and 

innovation are key drivers of the United States' and world economies.

However, some believe entrepreneurial education has failed to deliver 

substantive changes in the success rate of technology-based start-up 

businesses in the United States. NSF has adopted an emerging new 

curriculum being championed at select universities that formulates 

business creation as a methodology familiar to engineers and scientists:

hypothesis testing. By capturing this methodology and introducing it 

to educators, engineers and scientists, the Innovation Corps 

endeavors to construct an innovation ecosystem that more efficiently 

captures the fruits of government investment in long-term research 

for job creation and economic development. This bold new program has 

been garnering deep interest from government agencies and 

entrepreneurial educators around the world. In an economic climate 

that presents increasing challenges due to the accelerating pace of 

technological change, dwindling natural resources, rising 

unemployment, and spiraling populations, greater efficiency in 

translating academic advances into meaningful impact on society is
relevant to all.


In this presentation, the NSF Innovation Corps for U.S. researchers 

will be described, as well as personal perspectives on how the 

program has shaped PI plans.




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