NSF Announces the Establishment of New TIP Directorate to “ensure the U.S. will be a global leader in science, engineering and technology for generations to come”

Yesterday the Director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, formally announced the establishment of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships, or TIP. This is the first new NSF directorate established in more than 30 years. This move came about because of the passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill by Congress last week, which stipulated that NSF was authorized to establish this new directorate.

TIP’s mission is to position NSF as the nation’s lead science agency for innovation and to maintain the country’s competitiveness in new research fields and technology. As Dr. Panchanathan said in the announcement, “TIP is about developing exciting new approaches that supercharge research outcomes and enhance the cycle of discovery and innovation so that more solutions and technologies are available to the American people faster than ever.”

In addition to announcing the formation of the new directorate, Erwin Gianchandani was named as the inaugural assistant director for TIP. Dr. Gianchandani is no stranger to the computing community, as he is a former Director of CRA’s Computing Community Consortium, as well as the former Deputy Assistant Director at NSF’s CISE Directorate. NSF Director Panchanathan called Dr. Gianchandani, “a visionary leader with a wealth of experience in research, innovation, and partnership programs.”

At present it’s just a reorganization of existing programs at the agency, with little in terms of details on the TIP website. But NSF is repositioning much of its existing portfolio of innovation and translation programs into the new Directorate, such as the NSF’s Lab-to-Market Platform comprising the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps), Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), and Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR and STTR) programs, and the NSF Convergence Accelerator. Likely new programs and missions will follow as authorization legislation is agreed to by Congress in the, hopefully, near future.

CRA looks forward to working with the new TIP Directorate and its leadership to see how we can keep the United States the world leader in innovation for generations to come.