Building on the success of the decade-long NSF Innovation Corps, I-Corps™, program, today, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced the establishment of five I-Corps Hubs that will scale the National Innovation Network and rapidly advance solutions benefiting society. Each I-Corps Hub is funded at $3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The I-Corps Hubs provide experiential entrepreneurial training to academic researchers across all fields of science and engineering.
The I-Corps Hubs form the new operational backbone of the National Innovation Network, a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and other federal agencies that helps researchers learn how to translate fundamental research results to the marketplace. The Hubs will work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the U.S.
“For 10 years, the NSF I-Corps program has been critical to fostering the creative spirit and entrepreneurship that enables NSF-funded research to be translated into new products and services and contribute to the nation’s economy,” said NSF Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering Linda Blevins. “I am delighted to launch the first of our I-Corps Hubs, which will form the foundation for strengthening and scaling this innovation ecosystem. The I-Corps Hubs will bring together diverse scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry partners from every part of our country, providing everyone with an opportunity to solve key challenges and spur economic growth, including new startups and new jobs.”