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The NSF Convergence Accelerator aims to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance to address societal challenges, and to initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals addressing selected convergent research topics.

CSIRO is sponsoring one Australian team for Track I of NSF's 2022/2023 solicitation. The objective of the NSF Convergence Accelerator's Track I: Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges will be to converge advances in fundamental materials science with materials design and manufacturing methods in an effort to couple their end-use and full life-cycle considerations for environmentally and economically sustainable materials and products.

Timing

  • Letter of intent (required) 31 May 2022 at 5pm AEST
  • Full proposal deadline: 20 July, 2022 US at 5pm AEST

Focus

CSIRO is fostering US-Australian collaboration for Track I of the Convergence Accelerator to increase convergence research across materials discovery, development, and production sectors to address challenges in the manufacture, reuse and recycling of critical minerals and products and to develop new, innovative, sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

Track I: Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges

For this track only, Australian applicants who are part of NSF-awarded teams may be eligible for funding from CSIRO. The following information is excerpted from NSF’s full Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) . Please refer to the full BAA for information about all the tracks that are included in this BAA.

Funding

CSIRO is providing sponsorship for the participation of one Australian team, either as Principal Investigator or as a team member, in Track I. The Principal Investigator may be an Australian entity.

For Track I only: Australian participants have the potential to access up to $255,000 AUD through CSIRO’s funding with an opportunity to see a total of $750,000 USD budget in total for Phase 1 proposals.

Eligibility

All proposals that include Australian entities that wish to be eligible for CSIRO funding, whether as Principal Investigators or as partners in a US-based team, are required to complete a pre-submission review to confirm fit to CSIRO Eligibility Criteria as part of the Letter of Intent.

Letter of intent for Track I projects

The letter of intent for Track I projects that include Australian participants must be simultaneously submitted to NSF (as instructed in the BAA) and to CSIRO via email globalapplications@csiro.au.

If an Australian participant expected to be funded by CSIRO is selected, the Australian awardee will be required to, subsequently to being selected, send a breakout budget for the Australian awardee to CSIRO.

In the event a proposal with an Australian participant is selected by NSF for funding, the Australian participant will submit the proposal to CSIRO so that CSIRO can proceed with the funding of the Australian portion of the award. CSIRO funding of Australian teams is subject to CSIRO approval of the IP Management Plan.

(Please note, Australian applicants are encouraged to apply for any of the tracks available in the BAA. However, CSIRO funding will be available only in Track I.)

Informational webinars

Watch the NSF-hosted informational webinar held May 5, 2022:

[Image appears of Julie Noblitt talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom]

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the CSIRO and National Science Foundation logos and text: 2022 NSF Convergence Accelerator – Information for Australian Applicants to Track 1, 11 May 2022, 8.00am AEST]

Julie Noblitt: Good morning, everyone. My name is Julie Noblitt. I’m Director of Strategic Partnerships in the US Office at CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency. I’d like to welcome you to this morning’s informational webinar about CSIRO’s new partnership with the US National Science Foundation and a new funding opportunity with their Convergence Accelerator Programme. Before we begin, I’d like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we sit, in my case the Ohlone People in California. I pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. Today’s webinar will include a brief overview on the Convergence Accelerator Programme, followed by information specifically for Australian organisations who are interested in applying for the 2022 cohort for Track I, Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, a new funding opportunity. We’ll reserve time at the end for a Q&A with our panellists. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing instructions for webcast controls including unmute, and questions]

Before jumping into our programme overview, I just have a couple of housekeeping items to share. This webinar is being recorded and we’re going to share the webinar recording and the presentation deck in our thank you email after this, and we’ll also post the information on the CSIRO website. There is some controls in this webcast. You can see in the lower left, there are keyboard equivalents for some of those settings and especially helpful is the f toggle for full screen start and end and d for display settings. As you listen to the presentation and have questions, please submit them into the Q&A located on the bottom of your screen. Please do use the Q&A and not the Chat for your questions. That’ll make it much easier for us and also, I encourage you to listen all the way through the presentation as your questions most likely will be answered along the way. So, with that, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Margaret Donoghue who is Country Head of the CSIRO US Office.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of Nick Pagett and Sethuraman Panchanathan on the left signing a document in front of a US and Australian flag, and text appears: CSIRO and the US National Science Foundation, First Joint Initiative – CSIIRO and the NSF’s “Convergence Accelerator”, Track I – Sustainable Materials, Co-funding material science to solve societal challenges, Fostering US-Australian collaboration for global benefit]

Margaret Donoghue: Hello. Hello everyone. Thank you, Julie. Thank you for taking the time to join us today. We’re very excited to announce this new collaboration. CSIRO is committed to creating opportunities that link Australian researchers and industry to partners globally, in this case NSF in the US. We know that this is the first of many and we’ll be excited to announce those as they come to fruition. I want to acknowledge my colleague, Julie Noblitt, who has done all the hard work on our side to bring us to this moment and I know that she has quite a number of other exciting things that should be coming up in the next couple of months. Without further ado, I’d like to hand it over to my colleague Alex Cooke to talk about Missions.

Alex Cooke: Thank you, Margaret, and good morning to colleagues in Australia and good evening to our colleagues in the US. I’m pleased to provide an overview of the CSIRO Missions Programme and to open proceedings on why the NSF Convergence Accelerator is a good vehicle for partnerships between Australia and the US. We’ll go to the next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: CSIRO, Missions, Bringing the ecosystem together to accelerate the pace and scale at which CSIRO solves national challenges, leveraging science and technology for impact, A mission is a portfolio of coordinated science and technology projects and socio-technical initiatives that are directed at meeting a concrete and timebound objective that helps to solve a societal challenge, Objective is ambitious but realistic and has broad societal relevance, Mission activity encourages collaboration across multiple scientific disciplines (including social sciences) and industrial sectors and engagement with multiple actors, including public, private and civil society organisations]

The CSIRO has embarked on a new programme that draws on our own organisation’s multidisciplinary sites and research and our track record of taking this research through to impact, to ensure that we focus on the issues that matter the most and affect our quality of life, our economy and our environment and we’re aiming to use this framework to bring parts of this ecosystem together and to align on responding to shared challenges. We are doing this through what we call Missions, which are large-scale endeavours which aim to tackle big multi-faceted problems by bringing together research agencies, universities, industry, government and community, to work collaboratively on outcomes that lead to positive benefit, new jobs and economic growth.

We define a mission as a portfolio of co-ordinated science and technology projects and socio-technical initiatives that are directed at meeting a concrete and time-bound objective that helps to solve a societal challenge. The objectives of each of our missions are ambitious but realistic and have broad societal relevance. The activities of each of our missions encourage collaboration across multiple scientific disciplines, including social sciences with industrial sectors and engagement with multiple actors, including public, private and civil society organisations. They begin as CSIRO missions, but due to their scale of ambition and collaborative nature, these missions are being codeveloped with partners in Australia and overseas to achieve impact well beyond our own organisation. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show new slide showing a diagram of the CSIRO’s Missions Portfolio under the headings: Food Security and Quality, Health and Wellbeing, Resilient and Valuable Environments, Sustainable Energy and Resources, Future Industries, A Secure Australia and Region]

Now when we launched the Mission Programme in 2020, we started with a portfolio of potential missions. Our teams have been establishing their plans to achieve the ambitious objective within a five-to-seven-year time horizon, identifying the science and tech capability within CSIRO and with external partners. We’ve since launched five missions and in the sectors that will be of interest to this audience, we’ve launched a mission to build Australia’s clean hydrogen industry, a mission to end plastic waste, and are very well advanced in our preparations to launch a mission partnering with regions and industry for a low-emissions future, focusing on the most difficult-to-abate areas. We’ve also been developing a mission that seeks to create high-value products from our critical energy metals.

So, to give you a little taste of the work that’s going on in these launched missions, I’ll give you an overview so that you can see the opportunities to align your work with them from a material science perspective. Now, last year we launched the Hydrogen Industry Mission, which aims to help Australia to transition to lower-emissions energy systems by building Australia’s clean hydrogen industry and lowering the cost of clean hydrogen to under $2 per kilo. The mission aims to achieve this through hydrogen research development and demonstration partnerships and projects across four pillars. This includes the establishment of a hydrogen knowledge centre, feasibility studies and demonstration projects that validate hydrogen value chains and derisk enablement technologies. This work draws on core science undertaken within CSIRO but also seeks to scale up science and tech across our system and the mission is seeking to work across the whole clean hydrogen value chain to address this challenge.

We also launched our Ending Plastic Waste Mission in March this year, which aims to create long-lasting change in how we make, use, dispose of, and recycle plastics. The mission has the ambition of reducing plastic pollution in the environment by 80% by the end of this decade and it’s aiming to do this by revolutionising packaging and waste systems, including bringing together approaches to PVC recycling, using insects to digest plastic waste, and developing bioplastics out of seaweed. It also brings crucial elements around the circular economy and circularity to bear on the problem. We’re also actively pursuing other advanced recycling initiatives with partners in Australia, including a number of universities and working with partners in the Indo-Pacific region to reduce the impact of plastic, using plastic innovation. The next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing four diagrams showing the networking that occurs between partners for the missions, and text heading and text appears: Co-design and delivery is fundamental for CSIRO, No mission will be delivered alone, Varied roles, Moving from 1:1 to hosting 1:many conversations]

Now there are opportunities under each of these missions to partner and work together and to align activities. We’re hopeful that by connecting work within Australia and connecting to a global ecosystem, we can achieve scale that will deliver on the objectives of each of our mission. I’ll leave it there and I encourage you to consider applying in areas that will assist in delivering on the objectives of each of our missions and I’ll hand over to Doug Maughan, the Head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator. Thanks.

Douglas Maughan: Thanks Alex. The next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of a bushfire, children looking through a microscope, and a number of phone towers, and text appears: A Pivotal Moment for our Nations, Climate change; Equitable access to education, health care; Critical and resilient infrastructure]

We’d like to thank the folks from CSIRO for this opportunity to partner together. We believe that we are in a very pivotal moment for our nations as we look at serious problems and challenges such as climate change, equitable access to education and healthcare and critical and resilient infrastructure. These are not just national problems. These are truly global problems. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of a close view of a microscope, people holding up protest signs, and a circle of hands reaching to the centre to join each other, and text appears: A Pivotal Moment for Science & Engineering; Pace of discovery accelerated by data, emerging technologies; Demand for societal impact, Opportunity to leverage partnerships]

And we also believe, coming from the science and engineering community, that this is a pivotal moment as well, for our entire community. I don’t have to tell folks, but the pace of discovery of new technologies is as never before. What used to take ten years now takes two years or less and we’re right in the heart of the science and engineering community. More importantly, is the demand from the society, to ensure that the research and development done by the community has impact and use. And lastly, is this provides a great opportunity to leverage partnerships beyond what is traditionally academic or industry partnerships, but to make them global partnerships. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the NSF logo, and text appears: Mission – To promote the progress of science; to advance that national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense; and for other purposes, Vision – A national that leads the world in science and engineering research and innovation, to the benefit of all, without barriers to participation]

NSF has the mission to not only promote the progress of science, but to also advance our national health, prosperity, and welfare, and to secure the national defence. We also have a vision that we want to lead the world in science and engineering research and innovation, and this is available to all without barriers for participation. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of the NSF Director with information about the Director’s vision and a diagram of NSF working in conjunction with others, and text appears: NSF’s Mission, To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense, Director’s Visions, Advance the frontiers of research into the future, Ensure accessibility and inclusivity, Secure global leadership, We are in a defining moment, Intensity of global competition, Urgent need for domestic talent, Broad support for science as path for solving grand challenges, We can accomplish this vision with Speed and Scale]

In addition to these visions of the, of NSF which has been around for 70 years, our current director also has the vision to advance the frontiers of research to ensure accessibility, inclusivity, and to secure the global leadership. He talks about doing this with both speed and scale by engaging partnerships and translation of research that we’ve never done before. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing an image of joined coloured network dots, and text appears: Convergence Research, Today’s grand challenges will NOT be solved by one discipline working alone, Grand Challenges require convergence – merging of ideas, approaches, and technologies from widely diverse fields of knowledge to stimulate innovation and discovery]

We believe strongly and the Convergence Accelerator was created on this idea of convergence research. The grand challenges of today and of the future are not going to be solved by a single discipline. We believe it’s going to require multiple disciplines to merge the ideas and approaches and technologies together in order to create new solutions for all. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of the NSF Convergence Accelerator Team, and text appears beneath the photos: Doug Maughan – Head, Lara Campbell – Program Director, Aurali Dade – Program Director, Pradeep Fulay – Program Director, Jemin George – Senior Advisor, Alex Loewi – AAAS Fellow, Ibrahim Mohedas – Program Director – Linda Molnar – Program Director, Michael Pozmantier – Program Director, Michael Reksulak – Program Director, Shelby Smith – Communications & Outreach Lead, Nicole Tehrani – Student Trainee, Pathways]

This is the Convergence Accelerator Team in the Washington DC office. Some of them, you’ll see them on the screen as well as they present today. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram explaining the Convergence Accelerator Program Model moving through Ideation, Convergence Research Focus and Societal Impact, and text headings appears: DCL/RFI, Workshops, Funding Opportunity, Phase 1, Phase 2]

The Convergence Accelerator and Program Model begins with what we call ideation. We invite the community to provide their ideas of what they think we should be working on. We evaluate those ideas, and we fund community workshops to further develop those ideas. The outputs of the workshops become the inputs to our funding opportunities. The funding opportunity that you’ll hear about today was a workshop that was developed in 2020 and 2021. Our funding opportunities are what we call tracks and so you’ll hear about Track I mostly, today, but we also have Track H and Track J. We release two solicitations. One is a traditional grant solicitation and the second is called a broad agency announcement and you’ll hear more about that as well. We select proposals and fund them during Phase 1. Teams receive up to $750,000 for a nine-month planning phase.

They participate in an innovation curriculum during that time for trying to improve their idea, improve their team, and prepare for Phase 2. At the end of Phase 1, all teams participate in a Phase 2 proposal and pitch competition. Those teams that are selected for Phase 2 receive up to $5,000,000 and 24 months to develop their solution. They also participate in a curriculum looking at the idea to market and how to take and create new environments for entrepreneur. Our end goal is societal impact, whether that is a start-up company or a non-profit or follow-on funding from venture capital or philanthropy, open-source license technologies. It doesn’t matter and every technology will take a different approach, but our goal is long-term sustainability beyond government funding. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram explaining the Convergence Accelerator Portfolio showing the 2019 Cohort – Phase 2, 2020 Cohort – Phase 2, 2021 Cohort – Phase 1, 2022 Cohort, and Future Cohort]

We’ve been doing this for three years. You can see the top row shows you the tracks we have funded to date. Our most recent was Networked Blue Economy and Trust and Authenticity in Communication Systems. We’re doing a joint track with the Department of Defence from the US and what you’ll hear about for the remainder is Track H, I, and J. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: NSF Convergence Accelerator, 2022 Cohort Track topics, Track H – Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Track I – Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, Track J – Food and Nutrition Security]

Let me turn it over to Linda Molnar, who is the Programme Director responsible for Track I. Linda.

Linda Molnar: Thanks Doug. Good morning and good evening, everyone. Thanks so much for taking your time to join us, to take time from your busy day. We were delighted to see how much interest that there is in Track I. As Doug Maughan mentioned, Track I is part of a solicitation and broad agency announcement that includes Track H – Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Track J – Food and Nutrition Security, as well as Track I – Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges. Track I was inspired by the fact that a National Geographic article in 2020 pointed out that human-made material now equals the weight of all life on earth. That was the crossover point. They’d estimated 1.1 trillion metric tonnes is the mass of Earth’s lifeforms and anthropogenic mass or artificial materials is growing exponentially. This is not sustainable. Can I have the next slide?

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text heading and text: Track I – Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, This track will converge advances in fundamental materials science with materials design and manufacturing methods with the goal to couple their end-use and full life-cycle considerations for environmentally and economically sustainable materials and products that address global challenges, Current production and use of materials is not sustainable for human or planet health, Urgent need for circular economy principles, standards, tools, and metrics across all levels of the supply chain, Urgent need to educate and train current and future generations of scientists and engineers on circular design, Reimagine and transform how we design across all levels – from molecules to materials products, and to the built environment and/or re-use from the cradle to the grave using systems tools to guide the design, Potential for positive societal impact by mitigating and preventing climate change due to materials production in areas of highest unmet need (eg, health, energy, transportation, infrastructure, technology), Linda Mohar, Program Director, lmolnar@nsf.gov]

Thank you. So, the current production and use of materials is not sustainable for human or planet health. Moving forward, we need to rethink every single material we’re making and the process by which we make it so that we can ensure the health of our planet and the health of human beings and animals and creatures inhabiting our planet. So, there is a two-pronged approached. First, for those materials that have already been released into the environment, how can we remediate them and reuse them. The second is transforming and reimagining how we design across all levels, so really bringing together fundamental material scientists with folks who manufacture materials and understanding how we can develop circular economy principles and circular design. We believe this will have a potential for great positive societal impact, because what we are essentially doing is mitigating and preventing climate change in the first place, while focusing on areas, materials areas of highest unmet needs, such as health, energy, transportation, and infrastructure. On the next slide, we have details of the different topics so you can see, if you’re interested in applying, the breadth of areas we’re interested in.

This track was built on a series of four workshops that were held in 2020 and 2021. Those workshops can be found on our Convergence Accelerator Workshop under the heading, Resources. Melissa Bilec from U. Pitt. ran a workshop with stakeholders, looking at the circular economy from molecules to the built environment. Christine Ortiz from MIT led a workshop on socio-resilient infrastructure. Doug Densmore from Boston University ran a workshop on distributed bio manufacturing and finally Jed Pitera from IBM ran a workshop on translational materials for global challenges, the key premise being that we’re not interested in technologies that are looking to discover new materials. We are interested in having folks look at the full lifecycle, the translation of those fundamental findings into sustainable materials and products. A big component of this work will also be the transformation of training for the next generation scientist to include key focuses like trans discipline, trans disciplinarity, in which the Convergence Accelerator emphasises design principles and also developing these materials in an equitable and fairer way.

Some examples that we’re looking for emphasis on are data-sharing principles in infrastructure. One aspect is in the biotechnology field, a lot of this is already developed. We need a similar type of data-sharing principles and infrastructure for the materials field. We’re also looking at folks who are alongside the technology we’re developing or developing exponential education programmes.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the NSF Mission and Goal and the CSIRO Mission and Goal below text: NSF & CSIRO Partnership, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s National Science Agency, is partnering with the NSF Convergence Accelerator on Track I, There has never been a more important time for partnership, because now more than ever, we need big, visionary programs that shift the needle” – Dr Larry Marshall, CSIRO Chief Executive]

And then finally we’re delighted, on the next slide, to talk about the partnership with CSIRO, which was strategic in nature. First, we were interested in the expertise of Australia in sustainable materials, as well as their membership in the Quad. Also as noted by Alex Cooke, there were many areas of overlap, both in resilient, valuable environments, also climate response and low-emissions future. So, we’re delighted to have this opportunity and we appreciate your interest in Track I. I’ll now hand it over to my colleague.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a networking diagram in the top right, and text appears below: 2022 Solicitation Details]

Michael Reksulak: Next slide please. Good morning and good evening, to everybody on this call. As Linda has pointed out, we are very excited about this collaboration with CSIRO and I’m going to talk in more detail about the solicitation. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show a new slide explaining the two submission pathways for the funding opportunities below the text heading: Funding Opportunity – Two Submission Pathways, Purpose of this Parallel Activity – Provide increased opportunities for non-academic entities to submit and lead proposals, 1. NSF Solicitation, NSF-22-583 – bit.ly/CA_Soliciatation_NSF-22.5, 2. Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), NSFBAA-CA22-02 – bit.ly/NSFBAA-CA22-02]

So, as you have heard already, the solicitation that is related to Tracks H, I, and J, and of course today, we are talking mostly about I, it’s two-fold. There’s an NSF solicitation, the traditional solicitation, but also what we call a broad agency announcement and the difference here is that the NSF solicitation, if somebody gets awarded will result in a grant and a broad agency announcement will result in a contract and this will be important at one of the later slides, especially for Track I and the collaboration with CSIRO. So, I wanted to point that out here. It is recommended, usually at the NSF that academic submitters, but they are not required to, that they submit through the traditional NSF solicitation. What I will discuss in a little bit more detail later on, and what you should take note of is, if you want to participate in this call, and you as an Australian-based researcher want to be the lead submitter, working together with US-based institutions, then you must submit to the BAA solicitation.

If you’re participating in a team, that is lead by somebody in the United States, then you could also submit, be part of the submission through the solicitation, but again, if you are an Australian lead submitter, then you must submit through the BAA solicitation and what we point out here is that there are certain requirements to be able to submit through the BAA. You have to have a unique identifier on a government website in the United States and the reason why we put this here is it takes some time to get that registration done, so if you’re thinking about being a lead submitter with a team that has US, United States-based participants, then please make sure that you register as soon as possible. Also, a differentiation between the two avenues, solicitation and BAA is that if you submit through the BAA and it results in a contract, that allows for fee and profit as allowable costs, which is not the case under the NSF solicitation. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing four different scenarios for Australians submitting to Track I, and text heading appears: Track 1 – Australian Participation Requirements, Four Scenarios for Australians Submitting to Track I]

So, here is something that comes straight out of the solicitation and the BAA text. Of course, we very much encourage you, if you’re interested in this, to go and read the actual documents. This is a webinar that hits some highlights so that you can ask yourself the question, what do I want to do? And in there, in these documents, we point out that CSIRO is providing sponsorship for the participation of one Australian team, either as a Principal Investigator or as a team member in Track I and that leads to four potential scenarios of how people, researchers, from Australia, can participate in this call. So, there could be a proposal that is submitted solely by US entities and no Australian participants.

We, we hope that’s not why you’re here. But then of course we have proposals submitted by US-led team from academia with Australian participants. That could be submitted through the BAA but is likely to be submitted through the solicitation track. There could also be a proposal submitted by US lead from industry, non-profits with Australian participants. Usually, our participants from industry and non-profit submit through the BAA and here’s the very important point again that I just made. If there is a proposal submitted by an Australian lead, with US participants from academia, industry, etcetera then that must be submitted through the BAA. We can only fund that team together with CSIRO that is led by an Australian participant, if it comes in through the BAA There’s more information on the CSIRO website and we have the link here and of course you will get the slides and the link probably has been in the Chat already, but that’s where you can get more information. Thank you. Next slide.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about the Purpose, Due Date, and Letter of Intent below the text heading: Solicitation Details – Letter of Intent Required]

So, the first requirement that you need to be aware of and that you need to fulfill is that if you want to participate in this call, either through the solicitation or through the BAA, you have to meet this deadline. It’s imperative that you do, if you are the lead submitter. So, the lead submitter of whatever team you’re part of, and you may be that lead submitter or may not, but the lead submitter must submit an LOI by May 31st of this year,5pm submitter’s local time. So, if you’re part of an US team, it has to be US local time, 5pm. If you submit as an Australian lead, it has to be 5pm your local time, May 31st. Also, what is very important, in order to be able to participate as an Australian participant, you have to always also copy your LOI that you submit, either through NSFResearch.gov if you are part of the NSF solicitation or through the baam.nsf.gov/s/ website if you’re part of the BAA. You also have to make sure that whatever LOI is submitted, it is emailed to CSIRO.

If you’re an Australian participant in a team, either as lead or as participant, you have to make sure that that LOI gets, by the deadline, gets to that email address at CSIRO. Please, please keep that in mind. There is some other details. The LOI is not being used best to assess requirements for the proposal, to assess what your idea, but it’s used by us to figure out what kind of resources we will need, what kind of reviewers for the eventual proposal that you then will submit. There, there are a few details that they expect in the LOI already. Yeah, you should identify your multidisciplinary team to build a Convergence Research effort. You must identify one or more deliverables and how those research outputs could impact society at scale and how you will form that team that you want to carry this out. Again, there is the CSIRO website address, if you have any particular question related to Australian participants. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the details for the deadline and Phase 1 Full Proposal below the text heading: Solicitation Full Proposal, CSIRO is providing sponsorship for the participation of one Australian team, either as a Principal Investigator or as a team member, in Track 1]

So, the full proposal has also a deadline that you cannot miss. It is due on July 20th. One thing that I haven’t pointed out, when I discussed the LOI but which I point out now, and which you should be aware of, once you submit your letter of intent, either through the solicitation or through the BAA, you cannot switch tracks. The review for both of these tracks is the same, but you cannot switch tracks. So, once you have made the decision as a team, the, the people that you collaborate with that you come in through the BAA you have to submit your full proposal through the BAA, once you do the solicitation, you have to submit it through the solicitation channels. So, make sure that you, that you make an informed choice, before you submit your LOI which way you want to go and one of the main differences again, in the BAA, that allows for profit and fees as allowable cost. So, July 20th, very important deadline, we will not make exceptions, and again, due by 5pm submitter’s local time. In the full proposal details, it tells you what websites you have to use and this is something that those of you who have worked with the NSF would be aware of, or if you work with people in the US who have submitted NSF proposals before, they will be aware of it, but we won’t accept collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions, because we want multiple organisations on this one proposal. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing Other Full Proposal Details, and a list of Other Considerations, below the text heading: Solicitation Full Proposal Continued, CSIRO is providing sponsorship for the participation of one Australian team, either as a Principal Investigator or as a team member, in Track 1]

So, other proposal details that you should keep in mind, when you write the proposal and before it is submitted, it must describe the deliverables, it must describe a research plan and a process of team formation that we will use. There is space for one PI and four co PIs but obviously the teams will be larger, so if there’s more than five team members, which we assume there will be, you can add them as senior personnel. International collaboration in general, at the Convergence Accelerator, is always allowed, but if you submit something and add an international collaborator as a sub-awardee, it must be specifically justified. So, there’s, there’s a way here of CSIRO funding, to get round this a little bit, but if you come in in general at the CA, and Convergence Accelerator that is, and submit proposals, you can have international collaborators and of course, we very much encourage Federal, State, Local Government, tribal organisations, to be participating as partners, especially if you’re in the business of working on a problem that needs resources, expertise, data from governmental entities, they should be part of your team in one way or another. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide explaining the funding for Phase 1 and Phase 2 and explaining the Australia Proposal Budgets, below text heading and text: Solicitation Full Proposal, CSIRO is providing sponsorship for the participation of one Australian team, either as a Principal Investigator or as a team member, in Track 1, Anticipated Phase 1 Funding - $36 million, Australian Proposal Budgets]

There was a little bit of this information already, that was shown before, but basically when Phase 1 awards get made, that gives up to $750,000USD per Phase 1 award for twelve months. We anticipate 48 awards total, across the NSF solicitation, BAA for all three tracks for this call and in these 12 months there will be a nine-month intense curriculum of hands-on activities. There is a slide that I will have later that says something about this and due to that intense activity, we expect that some people on the team take a lot of time to be part of it. On the right side of this slide, you will see that the Australian proposal budgets are as follows and this is not in addition to the, to the $750k that is part of it, when an Australian team gets funded by CSIRO, so $250,000AUD of the possible $750,000 for a Phase 1 budget, will be funded by CSIRO. And Phase 2, you have the numbers there, because in Phase 2, those teams who win a Phase 1 award are then allowed to compete for Phase 2 awards and the Phase 2 award is over 24 months, $5,000,000 per award, up to $5,000,000 per award and up to $3,000,000 in the first year and we anticipate up to five awards per track. So, for Track I that would mean we anticipate five awards for that track, across the NSF solicitation and BAA. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text headings and information below: Solicitation Evaluation/Review Criteria, Convergence Accelerator – Submitting the “same old proposals” won’t work, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, Program Specific Criteria]

The solicitation evaluation criteria, the review will be NSF led. So, there will be an independent NSF panel that will decide which proposals are recommended for awards and that means that you will have to follow the NSF criteria for review, intellectual merit, broader impacts. All of this is in detail spelled out in the solicitation documents, solicitation MPA. And then we have of course programme specific criteria. Convergence, we are the Convergence Accelerator. We expect you — we think that you must include experts from more than a single institution. That will be easy for you if you are an Australian participant working together with United States based participants because that, by definition, is multiple organisations. But we also expect multiple disciplines, and we expect social sciences to play a part in your proposal. We want these cross-cutting partnerships, not just academia. You must include other organisations from industry, non-profits, government and other communities of practice, because we believe that research has shown getting these other perspectives into your research team will actually help you address the problem that you have identified, for which you want to develop a solution. But it’s not just enough to mention them. We expect you, in the proposal, to point out roles and responsibilities, describe the different roles of the various partners and team members in developing your deliverables and we, we want you to describe how you will collaborate and how will effectiveness in the team be achieved. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a list of Partner Roles in Convergence Accelerator Teams, and which sectors Partners are from, below the text heading: Current Convergence Accelerator Cross-Cutting Partners Roles & Sectors]

Here is just an example of the kinds of partner roles that we see in our current teams in the Convergence Accelerators and what kind of sector partners we have seen teams incorporate as they’re working on their research. I’m not going to read them because it’s not like this is exclusive. You could have other partners, or partner roles, but that gives you an idea of the breadth of partners that our teams actually involve in their research. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about Deliverables, Broadening Participation, and Track Alignment, below the text heading: Solicitation Evaluation/Review Criteria, Convergence Accelerator – Submitting the “same old proposals” won’t work!]

So, when it comes to the solicitation and review criteria that I have already pointed out, we expect you that you talk about deliverables. We are thinking about quote attached proof of concepts, what impact will your solution have on a national and/or global scale. That doesn’t mean you have to come up with something that is immediately globally available but of course you need to think about, how is whatever I do in the time period that I get funded, hopefully for three years, how is that potentially scalable to address the problem that we have identified to field our solution that we develop? Describe activities that is really important to NSF, really important to the Convergence Accelerator. Describe activities that will be undertaken to increase the participation of underrepresented groups, their expertise, partnerships, user groups, resources needs.

So, that is referred to in your Broadening Participation Plan and that is required at the NSF so make sure that you include that. I’ve seen proposals not being successful simply because they did not include a Broadening Participation Plan which is a requirement. And if you have ideas already, that is hard in Phase 1, it’s easier in Phase 2, because you’re working with different teams in Phase 1, but if you already have ideas, then tell us how you think that multiple teams working on different aspects of the overall problem might work together to solve a national-scale complex challenge. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show the Innovation Curriculum to fast-track solution development details, and then Other Activities Details, below the text headings: Convergence Accelerator Model Convergence Research Focus, Phase 1, Accelerated 9 months planning phase of 12-month award]

I talked about the curriculum and the curriculum in Phase 1 is designed and is successful to stimulate innovative thinking and it challenges you, your team to consider many facets to ensure that your ideas actually move forward to real-world applications, which is what we’re shooting for. So, you will be involved in a curriculum that is focused on human-centred design thinking, team science, early-stage prototyping, a lot will be made of use-inspired research, because we think that it needs to be use-inspired research for users to actually then deploy the solutions that you develop. Yet, there will be a lot of user/customer engagement and pitch preparation because when you’re competing, if you’re awarded a Phase 1, when you’re competing for Phase 2, you will obviously have to pitch your idea during the review process. How do we do that? We have mentors and coaches, and they will assist you with your solution acceleration. They will track the teams engaged in both in competition and cooperation. So, you will cooperate with teams in Phase 1 but then you will compete with them for Phase 2 funding. Next slide please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a sample weekly program and curriculum schedule, below the text heading: Example – Weekly Program & Curriculum Schedule]

This is just an outline of the kind of curriculum that you will see. I’m not going to go through this. It shows you there is a lot of work. That’s why we walked about teaching buyouts. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing details below text headings: Convergence Accelerator Model, Convergence Research Focus, Phase 2, Continue accelerated 24 months phase, Leverage Idea-to-Market Curriculum, Other Activities]

And in Phase 2, that is a curriculum that leverages your idea to market. All I want to say here, you see everything that is written there, but all I want to see here is that it’s absolutely important for you to think about how your idea is sustainable beyond our funding. That’s what we are shooting for here, to enable you to have a sustainable research agenda on this product that you’re, this deliverable that you are working on, beyond the funding. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the schedule of important dates for the Solicitation and Cohort below the text heading: Solicitation & Cohort Schedule]

Here are the dates again. Again, these dates are very important to you, and I think I have run out of time, so I’m not going to go through them. Please make sure that you are adhering to these deadlines. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Learn More – Recorded Webinars, NSF Convergence Accelerator 2022 Phases 1 and 2 for the 2022 Cohort – Tracks H, I, and J, 90 minute information webinar recordings are available on the NSF website, The Convergence Accelerator program, including our phased approach and innovation processes, The solicitation opportunity’s research track focuses, Convergence accelerator fundamentals, and submission information, Webinar Recordings Available, May 4, 2022 https://youtu.be/73e5Gdzl5yw, NSF Convergence Accelerator Resources, Past Webinars, https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/convergence-accelerator/resources, Questions – Convergence-Accelerator@nsf.gov]

There is a recorded webinar from the one that we did in United States with lots of question answers. The YouTube link is there so please make sure that you look at that if you have question answers that we can’t answer today, because time is limited. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Share this webinar with Australian colleagues, Link will be posted at https://www.csiro.au/missionsaccelerator ]

And, of course, the webinar will be posted, and I think I’m turning it over back to Julie. Sorry for taking two of your minutes.

Julie Noblitt: Not at all, Michael. That was fantastic and right on, right on time. So, I want to thank you very much. A reminder that a link to this webinar, we realise there’s a lot of information here, the link to the webinar will be available on the CSIRO website within a few days and a link to it will be sent to you in a thank you email along with the slides and I put it in the Chat as well. Next slide, please.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Questions?, Please put them in the Q&A Feature]

We have just, actually a few minutes, 15, 20 minutes for your questions and we recognise that we may not have time to get to all the questions and if that’s the case, if we don’t get to your question live, don’t worry, we’re capturing the Q&A. We’ll get answers to you after the webinar, if they’re not addressed right now. So, I am going to turn my attention to, my colleagues have been gathering Q&A in the background and I’m going to move my attention there and look for your questions. So, here’s one. If CSIRO is providing sponsorship for one Australian team, does this mean CSIRO wants to first decide which one team to sponsor? And I think I can answer that.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

From CSIRO’s point of view, certainly, we will be, Michael mentioned that as part of the submission process, you will be submitting your LOI simultaneously to NSF and to CSIRO and so we will be reviewing the LOIs, the Letters of Intent and we will be looking for alignment of your project with the Missions Programme that Alex Cooke described at the top of the webinar. And, but that, after that point, the NSF is convening an independent review panel and any, any Australian applications that align with CSIRO Missions will be considered. So, we’ve not predetermined at all, and I don’t know if anybody would like to add to that? Anybody from NSF?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, that’s knowledge, because that’s exactly how it’s going to work. It will be an independent review process and the panel will recommend to the NSF and CSIRO which proposals should be funded or are competitive for funding.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. Thank you very much. OK. Does it, so here’s a question, does it mean that the NSF Accelerator Programme is focused only on two missions, hydrogen and plastics, or can it be aligned with any of the missions? Linda, would you like to answer that?

[Image shows Julie listening on the main screen, and then the image changes to show Linda talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Linda Molnar: Thank you, Julie. I did see that question in the, in the Chat before I presented, so I did try to address that. I think the best thing to do is look at the four workshops that were funded to describe our broad areas of interest, but all of unmet material needs could be covered, materials for infrastructure, energy, healthcare, microchip production, all, all considered.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: And Alex, do you want to add anything on what we’re looking for on CSIRO Missions?

[Image changes to show Alex talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Alex Cooke: To reiterate what Linda said, which is that it could extend to any of the missions within the portfolio and the alignment needs to marry up between those areas and the ones within the NSF call itself.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Terrific, OK. Thanks. Another question, “Is the LOI submitted in Australia and USA. at the same time?”. And the answer to that is yes.

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, the answer to that is, as I said, 5pm local time. If you are part of a team that is led by the United States participants, then the United States participants know their local time, they have to submit it by 5pm through either the BAA channel or the solicitation channel. You have to make sure that you send a copy of it to the email address of CSIRO that we, that we put onto the slides so that CSIRO has that information. If you are the, if you are an Australian led team then of course, both of these things should, must happen by 5pm your local time on May 31st. I hope that answers the question.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: And Michael, there’s a part two to that question. Could people add partners after the LOI deadline or do they all need to be named in the LOI?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: I think Doug there wants answer that because yep.

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maughan: So Julie, we anticipate, people are not going to have their entire team known by the time they do an LOI. We expect teams to grow and change between the LOI and the proposal and even after they’re awarded in Phase 1. Teams add and subtract team members, so we actually don’t expect the team to be completely known at the time of LOI or even at the full proposal stage.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Thank you, Doug. Another question related to the solicitation. Is there a timeline when the other tracks, H and J will be announced or are H, I and J simultaneous?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, all three tracks have been announced at the exact same time. If, if, you’re interested in some of the other tracks, please refer to the solicitation or the BAA and the webinar that we posted a link to, because there, in the domestic webinar, we talked about all three tracks. Today we are focussing on the track that is led by Dr Linda Molnar, which is Track I.

[Image shows Michael listening on the main screen]

Julie Noblitt: Thank you.

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maughan: But they, Julie, they do have the same deadlines. So, H and J are on the same deadlines as Track I.

[Image shows Douglas listening, and then image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Understood. OK. A follow-up question on that, international collaborators that are not from the US or from Australia, can they be funded?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: Doug, do you want to take that?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maughan: Oh, sure. So, yes, they can. They can be funded, as Michael mentioned, the international collaborators that are not from Australia can also be on teams. They just have to be justified as to what technical skills and knowledge they’re bringing as part of the team, but we currently have, in some of our existing tracks, we have international participants, in the Convergence Accelerator already.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Thank you, Doug. And a clarification is being requested here about how the funding works. The question is asking if us, if only one Australian team is funded, having an Australian collaborator in a US team, how does, how does that work in terms of the $750,000 NSF award in relation to the $255,000 Australian award?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maughan: So, the expectation is the total proposal, whether it’s led by a US organisation or an Australian organisation, the total proposal will be for $750USD equivalent and then if that proposal is selected, CSIRO will fund up to $225, or $255, I can’t remember which the number…

Julie Noblitt: $255, yeah.

Douglas Maughan: $255 and then, and so that will fund the Australian participation and NSF will fund the remainder with the US participants, that will also work the same way on a Phase 2, when we talk about $5,000,000 and a different number for Australia, but the idea is whether you’re a lead, or whether you’re just on a proposal, the expectation is there will be two funding streams, one from NSF, one from CSIRO.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Thank you, Doug. I hope that answers. Another question has to do with IP. How will the IP arrangements work, if an Australian academic team partners with a US company?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maughan: So, we require, if people will look at the solicitation or the BAA, we require as part of their Phase 2 proposal an intellectual property management plan. So, because we expect Phase 1 is more about team development and idea development and it’s not really building a solution in Phase 1, but we do expect the team will document what their foreground IP is, what’s the IP that they’re coming to the project with, what IP do they expect to be created and how will it be shared? We, the government, do not get in the middle of the intellectual property negotiations between the organisations on the team. Now, I don’t know about the Australian Government and how the CSIRO will involve themselves in any intellectual property, but our goal is to allow the team to own and determine how the intellectual property is shared.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. Thank you, Doug. A question back on the Letter of Intent, and Michael, maybe you could answer this one, are you able to circulate a template for the letter of intent?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, we don’t have a template for the letter of intent, but it’s very clearly laid out in the solicitation and the BAA what we require you to submit and it’s not a very long document. As I said, it’s not being used to review your idea, it’s being used for resource planning on our side. There are a couple of things that we require you to submit so we can do the resource planning, but that’s all that we require at that stage, a real document that shows all the things that we ask you to submit, is of course, the proposal for the Phase 1. Doug, do you want to add something?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maugham: It’s a fairly simple web form, Julie that people can also go on and they can look at systems and even fill in a form. It’s very, it’s a very simplified web form without a lot of confusion. We’ve had no problems with users using it in the past.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Perfect. OK. Another question has to do with the sam.gov. Michael mentioned that organisations need to register on sam.gov to get a unique entity ID in order to apply and the question here is, how long does that take?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, as I, as I pointed out, there’s a, there’s a two-week time that it usually takes to register for, for the, for that unique identifier. Of course, if you’re not the lead organisation, Doug, right, I’m correct, then you don’t have to worry about it, because if you’re working together with somebody in the US who either has that identifier already or needs the identifier, they will be responsible to do that. It’s the lead, the one who submits the LOI and then the proposal is the one that needs to be registered.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: The lead PI. OK. Here’s a question about research infrastructure. How should proposals address that? Should proposers partner with research infrastructure providers?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maugham: So, what I would recommend, Julie, as people look at the solicitation, again we’re not expecting a lot of technology development during Phase 1. Phase 1 is really more of a planning stage, but as people start to think about their Phase 2, they can bring in research providers, resource providers as part of their team. What we typically don’t fund an enormous amount of equipment purchases or things like that as part of our projects. We’re not going to spend a million dollars on infrastructure. So, people need to think about, depending upon what their solution is, who do they want to bring on as partners, and how will the partners provide those kind of resources as part of the project. But most of that will be an issue that they’ll deal with in Phase 2, more so than in Phase 1.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. And following on that, actually are more questions about teaming. Some, the question is, can the application team consist purely of Australian members, Australian organisations, or must it have at least one US member?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, it cannot be purely Australian. Maybe Linda also wants to say something about this. The idea behind this international collaboration is that the expertise, the international expertise will add to the ability to address these issues and that would be defeated if you had just a national team from Australia submitting to this solicitation. So, yes, you will need to be part of an international team if you want to be part of this call.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. And there’s actually quite a few questions about teams, so I’m going to ask a few more here. There’s someone who says their research focuses on the development of materials for solar cells from sustainable materials and wondering if they’re eligible and actually, there are a few questions here about whether an individual could apply as opposed to an organisation. Can you comment on that?

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maugham: So, what we normally say is that this idea of convergence is multiple disciplines, multiple institutions and multiple types of institutions. So, a single individual is not allowed to just reply by themselves. They have to come to the solicitation with a team, where that team also includes industry or academia or non-profit organisations as part of the team.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. And a follow-up question, someone’s wondering are they required to collaborate with industry for their team? Maybe Linda could answer that.

[Image changes to show Linda talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Linda Molnar: I’ll also hop back to, there’s a question about solar cells and that would certainly be within the scope of unmet materials needs for sustainable development, and certainly partnering with industry, I think will be something very critical, because we’re focused on use-inspired research and understanding industry needs. So, perhaps not at the stage of the LOI or Phase 1 but in Phase 2, certainly is the look to have sustainable topics. So, we look to not just have the NSF funding for Phase 1 and Phase 2 but for the topics to become sustainable and find follow-on funding from other sources so that can certainly be industry and a lot of the Phase 2 teams do have industry advisory boards, but an industry partner could provide funding, could provide possible end-user feedback, so multiple ways for them to participate.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Fantastic. There’s a question here about whether, the question is what co-contribution levels are you looking for in the projects? I’m not, that might be a question about cost share. Are you requiring partners to have a certain level of cost share?

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: So, cost share is actually prohibited when it comes to proposals at the NSF so we don’t want to read anything about cost shares. You’re supposed to put a budget up that is funded through whatever we put out as an award. But of course, we expect you as we have said many, many times, to work together with partners in industry, non-profits, for-profit organisations, government organisation and whatever efforts they are undertaking outside that research project is of no concern to us. There’s no cost-sharing in NSF funding awards.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: OK. Thank you. And we’re getting close to the end, but I do have several people asked about how, what are the best ways to find partners across academia and industry and bringing them together strategically, including fields they hadn’t considered? Is there any help available for establishing connections, especially across Australia and the US?

[Image changes to show Linda talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Linda Molnar: That’s an excellent question, Julie and I think that’s something that is certainly in the Phase 1 planning grant, when we have the curriculum in mentors in cultures that provide that sort of network to the teams. Other NSF programme directors can also help with that across the track. So, I would encourage folks to think about for the submission, the LOI and the Phase 1 is really what is the unmet need? What big area, where can you have the most impact? And then certainly discuss the types of partners that you would like to find, and these teams are continually growing. I’m still helping my Phase 2 teams from Track B in our second year find new partners and network and go to conferences. So, these teams will evolve. But to think about it in a very collaborative way, partnership is key. Who are the folks who can help you move forward in areas that you don’t have expertise? So, the question is very relevant and it’s something we can provide some help with.

[Image changes to show Michael talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Michael Reksulak: And I would like to add, Linda I mentioned these workshops that are the basis of the track development and we would very much expect that people are interested in submitting to the solicitation that they very carefully read the workshops that are on our website listed as having been part of developing this track and Linda was very much involved with all of this. And also I think, somebody will put into the Chat, I can’t do it, hopefully somebody will be able to do it, there is a, there is a Slack Channel that people interested in Track I on the US site have already started and you know you may want to sign up for that Slack Channel. Is that, is that in the Chat? I’m just asking you, that’s all.

[Image changes to show Douglas talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Douglas Maugham: Yes, yes, Shelby put it in the Chat.

[Image changes to show Linda talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Linda Molnar: And that was an excellent point to look at the workshop proposals. Those PIs in the workshops took great time to discuss the process and have listed out all of the participants in those workshops across sectors and so it really does cover many of the key stakeholders in the ecosystem for Track I.

[Image changes to show Julie talking on the main screen and the participants can be seen in the bar at the bottom of the screen]

Julie Noblitt: Well, thank you very much. This is actually all the time we have for this webcast. As I mentioned, I know we didn’t get to all of the questions, but fear not, we have captured them. We will provide a link to the webinar, to the Q&A and to the slides on the CSIRO website, and I want to really extend many thanks for your attention today as attendees. A special thanks to our speakers from the National Science Foundation who’ve made time in the evening to do this webcast for Australian time zones and many people behind the scenes at CSIRO and NSF who made today’s webcast possible. Thank you so much and goodbye for now.

2022 Cohort Phases 1 & 2 for Tracks H, I, and J | May 4, 2022

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CSIRO hosted informational webcast held 11 May, 2022:

For more information on the full solicitation, including research background, partnerships and tasks and deliverables visit the NSF webpage

Information about Track I

Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, please refer to full BAA.

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