Senate Passes Bill Funding Technology Research Through NSF

The Senate passed bipartisan law Tuesday approving billions of dollars in funding for technology research in the United States, much of which is available for colleges.

If the US Innovation and Competitiveness Act – should help the US to better compete with China – as passed by the House of Representatives, the National Science Foundation would receive 81 billion dollars over a period of five years, starting with fiscal year 2022. This includes artificial intelligence, advanced Computers, robotics and automation, natural disaster prevention or mitigation, biotechnology, and data storage and management.

The allocated funds available for higher education include:

  • $ 9.6 billion for university technology centers: The NSF would set up a competitive institutional award program to create technology centers doing research in one of the key technology areas. The centers should be multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral.
  • $ 5.2 Billion in Scholarships and Grants: Scholarships would be offered to community college students, undergraduate students, graduate scholarships, and postdoctoral awards for those studying in major technology majors. The scholarships would be awarded directly to students as well as to universities. The bill instructs the Foundation to take measures to increase the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM areas, such as
  • $ 4.4 billion for research and development: Colleges and universities would provide competitive research grants to explore “revolutionary technological advances” in priority areas of legislation.
  • $ 4.1 billion in academic technology transfer: Institutions could receive awards that enable the transition of research results into developed and commercialized technologies within one of the priority areas.
  • $ 2.9 billion for test benches: Competitive grants would be awarded to facilities for the establishment and operation of test beds that advance the development, operation, integration and use of innovative technologies in one or more of the priority areas.