National Science Foundation "Partnerships for Innovation"

National Science Foundation "Partnerships for Innovation"

The CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development (CISDD) has been awarded a two-year $600,000 "Partnerships for Innovation" (NSF PFI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). CISDD partners with the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA), the Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation (ITAC), and other industry organizations to identify potential partnerships.

The grant includes funding of sub-grants to pair CUNY faculty and graduate students with private sector firms to identify and develop advanced software technologies. In a typical NSF PFI project, a faculty member and graduate student will employ research-centered computer science expertise to develop an enhancement or module relating to the applicant firm's existing technology platform.

In addition to these sub-grants, CISDD is seeking out synergies and long-term partnership relationships with software firms in the NYC economic region to create fundable project proposals to attract federal and state grants.

Evaluation Criteria for Sub-Grants
Scope: Projects must be limited in scope and duration. The short-term achievability of a project will be a decisive factor in the evaluation of applications. Prior experience with university projects is helpful, but not required. A typical project within the confines of this grant would require about 500 hours of architecture and development time.

Technology: The soundness of an applicant firm's existing technology will be considered, as well as the relative interest to CUNY faculty of the proposed intellectual property to be created. The applicant firm should be able to differentiate the proposed project from existing products in the market. Although all software technologies may be considered, projects related to imaging and visualization, computer security, algorithm design, and software engineering are of particular interest.

Commerciality: Applicant firms should be able to demonstrate the ability to bring a finished product or enhancement to the marketplace within one year of the project's close. Sub-grantees must be willing to enter into a limited royalty or matching fund agreement with CISDD. Additional information required will include annual revenues, number of full-time employees, and the potential ability for the project to enhance job creation.

Application Process
An applicant firm should submit an initial paragraph by email to the address below. This paragraph should briefly describe the problem to be solved, and how a solution to this problem (enhancement) will improve the commercial value of the firm's existing software. Initial submissions will be evaluated by CISDD based on the criteria shown above. Highly competitive applications will be matched with a CUNY faculty member to co-produce a final sub-grant application.

Final sub-grant applications will be evaluated by a Grant Advisory Committee. Feedback will be given to all applicants.

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