Research and Innovation Office

Extramural Coordinated Funding

UM Submission Instructions: Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) 2024

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF),National Science Foundation (NSF)
Award Title: Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines)
Each NSF Engine can receive funding for up to 10 years. The initial two years of funding will support a ramp-up period. Continued support for an NSF Engine will be contingent upon its overall performance, including meeting its annual performance goals. During the ramp-up period, an NSF Engine can be funded for a total of $15,000,000 over two years. The total amount of an NSF Engine award will not exceed $160,000,000 from NSF (over a period not exceeding ten years).
UM Deadline: 05/15/2024
Sponsor Deadline: 06/18/2024
Description: The NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program creates regional-scale, technology-driven, inclusive innovation ecosystems throughout the United States by accelerating key technologies, addressing regional, national, societal, and/or geostrategic challenges, driving economic growth, creating and retaining quality jobs, expanding equitable pathways into careers, and strengthening national competitiveness and security. Each NSF Engine represents a formal coalition of regional partners, led by a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO), tasked to carry out an integrated and comprehensive set of activities spanning use-inspired research, translation of innovation to practice, entrepreneurship, workforce development, community engagement, and ecosystem building, to nurture and accelerate the growth of regional innovation ecosystems grounded in technological innovation and regional, national, societal, and/or geostrategic challenges. The mission of an NSF Engine must be clearly rooted in regional interests and reflect the aspiration that a regional innovation ecosystem can help build strong communities where all residents can thrive. This includes the equitable development of regional talent, intentional community engagement, and attention to impacts on a region’s identities and cultures. The NSF Engines program is a placed-based innovation funding initiative, where the emphasis on “regions” expresses NSF’s aim to stimulate innovation-driven economic growth within a particular place or region of service. The emphasis of the NSF Engines program further includes creating new business and economic growth in sectors that are critical to American competitiveness and in those regions of America that have not fully participated in the technology boom of the past several decades.
Number of Applicants University is Allowed to submit: 1
Additional Requirements: None
Sponsor Guidelines:
UM Nominations Process: Those interested in submitting a project for this limited submission review should follow the instructions below carefully. Faculty and research staff at UMD should skip to the bottom of this section and review the footnote (*).

1) Inform our RIO office by 4PM Friday, May 3, 2024, if you believe you will be participating in this limited submission by emailing and sharing:
a. the topic area, and
b. the region of service for your innovation engine.
This will help us ensure we can be prepared with sufficient review panel members.

2) Download a copy and complete an application using the template provided at this link:

3) Provide an abbreviated CV for the lead PI.

4) Submit the completed application (step 2) + abbreviated CV (step 3) materials as a single pdf document to no later than 4PM Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

We understand this is a high-stakes competition for which only one application can be selected. If your proposal is not picked during our limited submission review process, we encourage you to consider other partnership opportunities with external collaborators and explore all avenues to advance your project.

RIO's target date for selecting an application: by May 31, 2024.

Any questions can be submitted to

(*) For UMD Faculty and Research Staff only: NSF treats UMD as a separate institution for solicitations with limited submissions. Faculty and research staff at UMD interested in submitting to the ENGINES program should notify UMD Research Administration ( by 12:00 noon on 8 May 2024. At that time, they will be provided with an internal pre-proposal template, due by 5:00 pm on 15 May 2024, that will be reviewed in consultation with an ad hoc expert panel. PIs will be notified of results before 31 May 2024.
Peer Review Coordination: Research and Innovation Office contact email
Status: PI Selected. Marc Hillmyer, Chemistry, is the official UM nominee.
Please note: To be considered for peer review and internal selection, faculty must follow the above submission guidelines and meet the UM deadline as set by the office coordinating the peer review for this opportunity.

General Information

  • Each posting has information about the external sponsor and opportunity as well as the internal application instructions.
  • Opportunities can be sorted by column headings; just click on the heading to re-sort by that column.
  • When a link redirects you to another site, it opens in a new browser window.
  • If you know of an opportunity that is not on the list, please contact Robyn Kennedy.
Column Descriptions

  • Sponsor: redirects you to the sponsor's main website
  • Title/Guidelines: redirects you to sponsor specific information regarding the opportunity which may include description, eligibility, budget instructions, forms and other requirements
  • Amount: Maximum dollar amount awarded.
  • Add’l Req: Identifies special requirements such as cost sharing, partners, etc.
  • Sponsor Deadline: External deadline identified by the sponsor.
  • UM Submission Instructions: Contains specific internal submission requirements including internal proposal instructions, deadline, eligibility, internal nomination process, contact information.
  • # Apps: The maximum number of applications the sponsor will allow the university to submit.
  • UM Deadline: Submission deadline for internal proposal as determined by the coordinating office.
  • Status:
    • Open: UM deadline has not passed and the opportunity is open for application.
    • In Review: Peer review process is in progress for the opportunity.
    • PI Selected: The PI has been selected as the official UM nominee.
    • Closed: Sponsor deadline has passed and the opportunity is closed for application.
U of M Submission Instructions (Required)

This link includes summary sponsor information, specific instructions for internal submission and contact information for the university office coordinating the nomination process.

  • Follow the directions in the submission instructions and submit required materials by the UM deadline to the contact indicated.
  • Instructions vary according to the requirements of the sponsor and the university office coordinating the nomination process.
Registration (optional)

Registration is an optional but highly recommended feature. Perhaps you are looking for a wider audience for your proposal idea, or for potential collaborators to work with to create a stronger application. Registration allows applicants to share proposal ideas and post contact information.

Registration also provides information that helps the university office overseeing the nomination to determine the level of coordination needed and guide the review process.

To register (or view registrants), click on the UM Submission Instructions for a specific opportunity, then click on the Register Interest link.

Selection Process

  • Once the internal deadline has passed, the status will change to “In Review” and proposals will undergo review.
  • If there are multiple applicants, the office managing the nomination will determine the review criteria and coordinate the review process.
  • Once review has been completed all parties will be notified via email.
  • Nominees will be provided with a letter addressed to the sponsor from the RIO indicating that they are the university's nominee. This letter should accompany the nominee's proposal.
  • SPA is notified of the university's nominee(s) and the status is updated to “PI Selected”.

*If you have questions about the University's process related to extramural funding opportunities requiring nomination or if you have any technical issues with the site, contact

For questions, please contact RIO's Research Advancement group.