NSF TIP (Technology Innovation Partnership) offers several pathways for innovation. The NSF Convergence Accelerator, launched in 2019, seeks to accelerate research solutions with a potential positive societal impact. The program offers to fund teams practicing convergence research and innovation to meet a broader need. The Accelerator also places teams together in cohorts, synergizing their work through facilitated collaboration. This unique program structure offers researchers and innovators the resources to propel research toward tangible solutions while gaining skills and expertise. The program is focused on a convergent research approach that:
- Is use-inspired and application-oriented.
- Is fed by basic research and discovery.
- Integrates teams from industry, academia, nonprofits, government, and other communities of practice.
- Offers intensive hands-on education and mentorship to participants.
In most instances, there is a mandatory or highly encouraged evaluation component within these proposals. It is best practice to hire an external independent evaluator to avoid any perceived conflict of interest and show reviewers a level of understanding and attention to detail about the evaluation component. E.B. Howard Consulting has experience performing these evaluations for NSF-funded projects, as well as many others.
Your external evaluator should
- Be an experienced evaluator or evaluation firm (✓ – We are.);
- Be supportive of the innovation ecosystem and promote inclusive economic growth. (✓ – we totally do.);
- Have experience working in the innovation and startup ecosystem (✓ – we totally do – this is our jam);
- Be committed to creating regional-scale, technology-driven innovation ecosystems throughout every region of the United States, accelerating emerging technologies, driving economic growth, addressing key societal challenges, and maintaining national competitiveness (✓ – We do. );
- Have a working knowledge of all (not just the Innovation Engine program) NSF guidelines, protocols, processes, and evaluation requirements (✓ – We totally do.).
- Have experience evaluating large-scale ecosystem-change projects (✓ – We totally do.);
- Have experience with reporting on project-level outcomes and federally required outcomes (GPRAs) (✓– We do);
Got questions on how to find an External Evaluator? We have you covered. Check out this post from August 2020. https://www.ebhoward.com/choosing-the-right-external-evaluator/
Want to know a little bit more about our Evaluation Services? We have you covered. See more here. https://www.ebhoward.com/evaluation-4/
Want to talk with us about how we serve as your External Evaluator for the NSF Convergence Accelerator proposal? Schedule a consult call today. https://calendly.com/ebhoward/15min
We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.