ALEPSCoR brings in external funding into the state from several federal EPSCoR agencies associated with NSF, DOE, USDA, and NASA. In FY 2012, ALEPSCoR brought in over $25M of new federal grants into the state from these agencies.
National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR
NSF/EPSCoR provided federal funding for ALEPSCoR programs through a Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant, two Cyberinfrastructure grants, and EPSCoR Co-Funding, as described below:
NSF EPSCoR (RII-3). Alabama EPSCoR was awarded a $15M NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement Cooperative Agreement from September 1, 2008 to August 31, 2014 entitled, “Enhancing Alabama’s Research Capacity in Nano/ Bio Science and Sensors.” This award provides funding to ALEPSCoR research institutions across the state for developing Alabama high technology research capability. Those research institutions are: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Auburn University (AU), Tuskegee University (TU), University of Alabama (UA), University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), and the University of South Alabama (USA). The high technology research capabilities being developed are: (i) the Nano and Biomaterials Research Thrust (led by TU, with USA, AU, UAB, UA, AAMU) is developing new nanostructured materials with enhanced thermal, physical, mechanical, and biodegradable properties; (ii) theBiotechnology Research Thrust (led by AU, with AAMU, TU, UAB) is developing model biosystems to facilitate the development of nanomaterials and nanoscale devices; (iii) the Optics and Sensors Research Thrust (led by UAB with UA) is developing new optical and molecular sensing technologies for applications in environmental monitoring, counter-terrorism, industrial process control, and medical diagnosis; (iv) the Nanofabrication Research Thrust (led by AAMU, with UAB, UA, UAH, TU) is applying cutting-edge nanoengineering to develop molecular sensors, regimented nanomaterials and nanostructures with applications in chemical, biological, and thermo-electric devices.
NSF EPSCoR RII Cyberinfrastructure. Alabama EPSCoR was awarded two Cyberinfrastucture grants in 2011. The first is a $1.2M grant to upgrade Alabama cyber network and connectivity infrastructure to enhance Alabama’s research competitiveness in nantechnology, bioscience, and sensors. The second is a $1.7M grant to coordinate and upgrade Cyberinfrastructure in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi to enable the rapid sharing of data resources and tools to advance new scientific discoveries in geosciences and engineering associated with coastal hazards in the tri-state region.
NSF EPSCoR Co-funding. When a proposal is sent to a NSF directorate and found meritorious, opportunities within NSF exist for the project to be jointly funded by the specific NSF directorate and the NSF EPSCoR office. In 2012, new awards to Alabama researchers resulting from NSF EPSCoR Co-Funding totaled $11.2M.
DOE EPSCoR Awards
An Alabama DoE EPSCoR Implementation Grant was awarded in August 2009. These awards consist of a research program and a human resource development program. UA is serving as the lead institution while the research cluster is headquartered at AU and includes researchers at UA, USA, TU, and Auburn/Montgomery.
DOE EPSCoR State Laboratory Partnership Awards encourage collaborations between researchers at the seven research institutions and Federal Laboratory personnel. Alabama has three ongoing projects. The University of Alabama was awarded a 2011 grant in the amount of $497K.
USDA EPSCoR Awards
The USDA EPSCoR program is “designed to help institutions develop competitive research, education and extension/outreach programs in high‐priority areas of national need in agriculture, food, and environmental sciences.” In CY 2011, three new awards were brought into the state totaling $1.1M. Current USDA awards will continue to provide revenue to the state until 2014.
NASA EPSCoR Awards
The Alabama NASA EPSCoR program provides funding for research in fields of interest to both NASA and the State of Alabama. In 2011, two new Cooperative Agreement Notices (CAN) awards were funded at UAH ($75K) and USA ($675K).