During a fireside chat on the UW-Madison campus in March, a leader in the National Science Foundation’s newest and most hands-on program gave a tip of the hat to what he was seeing in his quick tour of Wisconsin.

“There’s talent all around this state,” said Erwin Gianchandani of NSF’s Technology, Innovation and Partnerships directorate. “And it’s incumbent on us to be able to find ways to be able to create opportunity for that talent… to create pathways for that talent to become a part of the STEM-driven workforce and economy of the 21st century.”

Roll forward a couple months, and NSF is making good on Gianchandani’s observation that Wisconsin has the tech, talent and market-based tools to help build a brighter future.

Capping a competitive process that began in early 2022 with a nationwide call for ideas, the NSF announced May 11 that two Wisconsin partnerships had been awarded $1 million “Type 1” grants through its Regional Innovation Engines program. Two-year grants were awarded to:

Read more in Tom Still’s column for the Wisconsin Technology Council.