NSF’s TIP Partnerships for Innovation

  • February 21, 2023

NSF TIP (Technology Innovation Partnership) offers several pathways for innovation. The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) assists researchers and innovators from academia, nonprofit and public organizations to accelerate high-risk, unproven technologies and solutions. PFI-funded researchers apply an iterative process of translational research and customer discovery to develop prototypes that address a product-market fit and inform future products or services. Much like the I-Corps program, the PFI program offers researchers a technology testbed to learn market and commercialization insights and facilitate industry adoption. The program helps researchers translate basic research into technologies and spurs university spinoff companies. The PFI program seeks to:

  • Accelerate the commercialization of NSF-sponsored research and technologies.
  • Enable partnerships between NSF-funded awardees, their organizations, industry, nonprofits, and public organizations to undertake proof-of-concept work.
  • Promote a sustainable university-based innovation ecosystem.
  • Provide entrepreneurial education, professional development opportunities, and tools to academic innovators.
  • Broaden the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in translational research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

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 an NSF PFI 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.