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42 U.S. Code § 19103 - Activities

Subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Director shall achieve the purposes described in section 19102 of this title by making awards through the Directorate that—
support transformational advances in use-inspired and translational research and technology development, including through diverse funding mechanisms and models at different scales, to include convergence accelerators and projects designed to achieve specific technology metrics or objectives;
(2) encourage the translation of research into innovations, processes, and products, including by—
engaging researchers on topics relevant to United States societal, national, and geostrategic challenges, including by educating researchers on engaging with end users and the public;
advancing novel approaches and reducing barriers to technology transfer, including through intellectual property frameworks between academia and industry, nonprofit entities, venture capital communities, and approaches to technology transfer for applications with public benefit that may not rely on traditional commercialization tools; and
establishing partnerships that connect researchers and research products to businesses, accelerators, and incubators that enable research uptake, prototype development and scaling, entrepreneurial education, and the formation and growth of new companies;
develop mutually-beneficial research and technology development partnerships and collaborations among institutions of higher education, including historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, minority-serving institutions, emerging research institutions, EPSCoR institutions, and nonprofit organizations, labor organizations, businesses and other for-profit entities, Federal or State agencies, local or Tribal governments, civil society organizations, other Foundation directorates, national labs, field stations and marine laboratories, and, as appropriate, international entities and binational research and development foundations and funds, excluding foreign entities of concern;
(4) partner with other directorates and offices of the Foundation for specific projects or research areas including—
to pursue basic questions about natural, human, and physical phenomena that could enable advances in the challenges and key technology focus areas under section 19107 of this title;
to study questions that could affect the design (including human interfaces), safety, security, operation, deployment, or the social and ethical consequences of technologies and innovations in the challenges and key technology focus areas under section 19107 of this title, including the development of technologies and innovations that complement or enhance the abilities of workers and impact of specific innovations on domestic jobs and equitable opportunity; and
to further the creation of a domestic workforce capable of advancing, using, and adapting to the key technology focus areas;
build capacity and infrastructure for use-inspired and translational research at institutions of higher education across the United States, including by making awards to support administrative activities that advance development, operation, integration, deployment, and sharing of innovation;
support the education, mentoring, and training of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, to both advance use-inspired and translational research and to address workforce challenges, through scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships; and
identify social, behavioral, and economic drivers and consequences of technological innovations that could enable advances in the challenges and key technology focus areas under section 19107 of this title.