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NSF launches Engineering Research Visioning Alliance to boost high-impact research

By David Schwartz
Published: April 13th, 2021

To help the U.S. stay at the forefront of research and innovation, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering today launched the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA), the first engineering research visioning organization of its kind.

ERVA was created to provide the engineering community with a process for identifying bold and societally impactful engineering research directions. It is an engaged, inclusive, multilayered partnership, providing a truly diverse array of voices with the opportunity to impact national research priorities. That’s reflected it its leadership structure, headed by principal investigator Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, PhD, senior associate vice president for research-corporate and government partnerships at The Ohio State University. Four co-principal investigators are Anthony Boccanfuso, PhD, president and CEO of UIDP; Barry W. Johnson, PhD, the L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Virginia; Charles Johnson-Bey, PhD, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton; and Edl Schamiloglu, PhD, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate dean for research and innovation in the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering.

“Engineering has the power to transform people’s lives, especially when it brings to bear a diversity of knowledge, perspectives, and experience to solve important problems,” says NSF Assistant Director for Engineering Dawn Tilbury. “With NSF’s support, the Engineering Research Visioning Alliance will enable the engineering community to mobilize and make a difference in our country’s future.”

Funded with a five-year, $8 million award from the NSF, the initiative convenes, catalyzes and enables the engineering community to identify nascent opportunities and priorities for engineering-led innovative, high-impact, cross-domain, fundamental research that addresses national, global and societal needs.

“When engineers come together behind a big challenge, we create amazing discoveries and innovations that can lead to exciting new fields,” says Tilbury. “Through ERVA, NSF wants the engineering community to come together to find ideas that will unite us, develop roadmaps for cutting-edge research agendas, and lead to game-changing impacts on our world.”

ERVA will connect government, academic, industry, community, professional society and public sector stakeholders, empowering the engineering research community to speak with a unified voice.

“ERVA is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of something truly transformative,” notes Grejner-Brzezinska. “It enables the engineering community to unify under the common theme of working together to address society’s greatest challenges.”

Founding partners organizations are the Big Ten Academic Alliance; the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)/Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Foundation (EIF); and the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP).

A 10-member Advisory Board will provides oversight, with input coming from a 35-member Standing Council. Stakeholders from academia, industry, government, professional societies and foundations, and the general public will be invited to participate on topic-based task forces.

Source: erVa

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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