The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a new request for "white papers" that outline or help define potential new funding competitions under the agency's Technology Innovation Program (TIP). A notice* in the Sept. 4, 2009 issue of the Federal Register solicits detailed analyses of critical national and societal needs that could be addressed by new technology developed with TIP support.
TIP promotes innovation in the United States through cost-shared funding for high-risk, high-reward research projects by single small-sized or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories. Competitions for TIP funding target large national and societal needs that arguably could be addressed or reduced through a program of high-risk, transformational research. Suggestions in the form of white papers from interested parties, including industry; academia; federal, state, and local governments; and professional organizations and societies are among the several sources consulted by TIP in deciding the scope of future competitions.
While TIP is interested in white papers addressing any area of critical national need, the program is particularly soliciting information related to several potential topic areas currently under consideration. These include:
The white papers are expected to describe an area of critical national need and the associated societal challenges, explain why government support is needed, and provide a high-level discussion of potential scientific advancements or technologies needed to address the challenges. They are not meant to include proposals for specific research projects and, because they will become public documents, should contain no secret or proprietary information. Detailed instructions on how to prepare and submit white papers may be found in "A Guide for Preparing and Submitting White Papers on Areas of Critical National Need," available on the TIP Web site at **
www.nist.gov/tip/guide_for_white_papers.pdf. White papers will be accepted at any time from Nov. 9, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010. To speed processing, TIP requests that submitters try to meet one of four interim submission dates, Nov. 9, Feb. 15, May 10 and July 12. White papers should be submitted by email to tipwhitepaper [at] nist.gov.
The full text of the Federal Register notice is available at **
* Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 171, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009, p. 45823.
**The Technology Innovation Program was cancelled in the fiscal year 2012 budget. All available TIP white papers are now located at www.nist.gov/tip/wp/index.cfm.