The National Science Foundation is the primary source of support for basic research and education in science and engineering throughout the US academic community. At NSF, the Directorate for Engineering has historically occupied a unique and interesting space within the Foundation, and today is no different. Like other directorates, most of ENG investments support basic research and discovery through its core programs. But a portion of the ENG portfolio of investments directly addresses the important translation of the fruits of successful basic research into products and processes of societal benefit. What can one federal agency (the NSF) reasonably do to stimulate innovation and economic development through strategic investments in our nation’s colleges and universities?
As we celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, we use this opportunity to examine the societal impact of research investments made by NSF, focusing especially on chemistry and chemical engineering.
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