June 3, 2016

Washington’s Week in Science

Policy News and Selected Funding Opportunities

Top Stories of the Week

  • NSF: Proposals Invited for Centers for Chemical Innovation
  • NASA: Martian Moons Mission Opportunity Announced
  • NOAA: RESTORE Act Science Program Funding Opportunity Available
  • DoD: Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute to Be Established


The NSF Math and Physical Sciences Directorate is soliciting proposals for the Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) program. CCIs are intended to address major long-term research challenges that cannot be effectively done by individual investigators or small teams. A major component of the review and award process is synergy among members, which may include multiple universities, industrial laboratories, and government laboratories, is a major part of the review and award process.

The CCI program structure includes Phase I proposals, submitted by invitation only, and Phase II renewal awards. Phase I awards will be up to $1.8 million over three years, and must develop the science, the management structure, and broader impacts over that time frame. Pending satisfactory progress, Phase II awards will be up to $4 million per year for five years. Up to three Phase I awards are expected in FY17.

Read More: Centers for Chemical Innovation Program


NASA’s Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity (SALMON) are intended to be low cost, principal investigator led missions involving universities, industry, and government laboratories.  NASA has announced such an opportunity in association with a mission planned by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency called Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) planned for 2022.  MMX will characterize the surface, interiors, and environments of the Martian Moons, Deimos and Phobos, and will land on Phobos for a sample collection.

NASA intends to select a PI-led team to take responsibility for a neutron/gamma-ray spectrometer to be integrated with the instrument payload. The development cost cap for the mission is specified to be $15 million.


The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) of the Gulf States Act was passed in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to carry out scientific activities in the Gulf that could lead to a greater understanding of this complex ecosystem, support sustainability, and provide the basis future decision-making.  NOAA has released solicitation NOAA-NOS-NCCOS-2017-2004875 announcing a funding opportunity for FY17.

Grants are from one to three years and can address basic research topics and applied science leading to decision support tools. Research priorities are defined as: movement of living coastal and marine resources between and among habitats, use of habitat by living coastal and marine resources, recruitment of juvenile fish to fisheries, food web structure and dynamics including predator-prey relationships, impact of multiple stressors on food web structure, and connections between restored habitat and surrounding habitats and wildlife that use those habitats. Decision support proposals can address: data integration platforms, models for identifying and predicting the impacts of stressors, and approaches for making decisions and evaluating alternatives.

Read More: NOAA Damage Assessment


The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes are public-private partnerships of which six are now led by DoD and two by DoE, with NIST planning for one or more.  The institutes are intended to bridge the gap between basic research and product development by establishing regional hubs providing shared assets and access to cutting-edge equipment. They foster innovation ecosystems and a more effective manufacturing infrastructure.

The US Army Contracting Command has now announced the establishment of a seventh DOD led institute, the Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ATB-MII).  The focus of this institute is to enhance the coordination between the materials, biological, and engineering communities to increase the throughput and reproducibility of engineered tissues.  Industries which are based on cell therapies, engineered replacement tissues, and biopharmaceutical products will benefit from standards and quality control advances that keep pace with FDA regulations.

DoD envisions that the award will be for up to seven years and be funded at $75 million with private matching funds. A solicitation is expected before the end of June with proposers days scheduled for June 17 and June 23.


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