The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a program designed to promote innovation through partnerships among universities and industry. The NSF program is called "Partnership For Innovation". Information on the PFI program can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5261&org=IIP&from=home. There is a new solicitation recently released for proposals for funding from the PFI program. A synopsis of this solicitation is attached for your information.
UCF/CREOL plans to submit a proposal to the PFI program, partnering with the University of Arizona and the University of Rochester, and several other organizations including the Florida Photonics Cluster, to build and begin operation of a network of photonics organizations that will facilitate photonics education and the rapid development and transfer of photonics technologies into a wide range of applications. The network we envision will contain universities, companies, professional societies, trade associations, and economic development organizations. I would like to include your company as a supporter of our proposal and as a participant in the network the program will build if we are successful in obtaining funding.
The funding from NSF for the PFI program is quite modest, so there would be no funding available in our proposal for your company. Although no funding from your company to UCF or the program will be required, any funds you can provide to UCF for the program will be an asset in the competition and will also be eligible for a 1:3 match through the FHTCC matching program. Otherwise your contribution can be "in-kind" to the degree that you can commit any resources to help accomplish the program’s objectives (e.g., serving on an Industrial Advisory Board). What I do ask that you consider is writing a letter of support for our proposal and indicating your willingness to participate as a "partner" in the network that the proposed program will create. The schedule we are working to is as follows:
- Internal-UCF proposal summary -- Sept 5, 2008 (Note: a university can submit only one PFI proposal as the lead organization, which is what UCF will do. An "internal competition" occurs to select what UCF will propose, assuming more than one PFI program is proposed by faculty)
- Letter of Intent to NSF -- Oct 31, 2008
- Final proposal to NSF -- Dec. 31, 2008
All I need at this time is a letter or email from you indicating your company’s willingness to support our proposal. This will help us in the internal-UCF competition, and if we are successful at that stage, I will provide you more information on what we are proposing so that you can write a customized letter of support to go in the proposal.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request. I look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Director, Florida Photonics Cluster
Director, Research & Admin, CREOL,
The College of Optics & Photonics & Special Asst. to the VP for ResearchUniversity of Central Florida