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A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation

At the end of March, I participated in a panel discussion with six women who described their journeys within the scientific community. All faced challenges and detours but each continued to move forward, inspired by others and by their own ability to accomplish their goals. The unique perspectives women bring to science and engineering problems can also enrich our economy. With this in mind, NSF offers a number of opportunities through its small business programs for women seeking to transition their scientific discoveries into commercial products.

Within its existing programs that encourage entrepreneurship, NSF is working to expand the numbers of women who might consider starting their own business. For example, NSF’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), a program that provides small business training to academic researchers, is working to increase the percentage of women taking part in the program through targeted funding, mentoring and other approaches. In 2016, women accounted for 19 percent of I-Corps participants. I-Corps recently provided additional funding to promote inclusive entrepreneurship and several grant recipients are focusing on efforts to reach women in public health, nursing, information technology and engineering.

NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research program also recently launched a pilot program, called AWARE: ACCESS, that aims to help women and underrepresented innovators become successful entrepreneurs and to transition their research into the marketplace.

The recently signed “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act” will also help these efforts because it specifically expands NSF’s mission to support entrepreneurial programs for women. By extending the opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups, we can widen the pool of promising ideas that help the nation remain at the forefront of technological innovation.

Dr. France A. Cόrdova
Director, National Science Foundation

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Where Discoveries Begin...

Wind tunnel takes hazard studies to new level
World-class facility helps researchers understand high winds associated with hurricanes.

Solar-paneled walls reuse wastewater as thermal heat source
New building technology may extend water availability and save money.

Tool against bioterrorism helps fast-track treatment/vaccines
Algorithms help decipher the way antibodies block infection and neutralize viruses.


What's Next?

May 6 – The Director will accept the Global Leadership Award at the University of South Florida’s graduate student commencement ceremony. The Global Leadership Award is presented at the USF president’s discretion to individuals who have achieved exemplary accomplishments in international  leadership or global relations.

May 21 – The Director will address 650 degree candidates and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Marymount University’s Undergraduate Commencement at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

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