SACT Grants 2019-04-01T14:32:09+00:00

SACT – INDUSTRY neXt FEASIBILITY GRANTS

Industry neXt is the convergence of digital information and communications technologies with manufacturing processes to drive real-time control of energy, productivity, and costs across factories and companies.

NOTICE OF SOLICITATION

AWARD TYPE:
Grant

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF AWARDS:
up to 3 awards

MAXIMUM GRANT AMOUNT:
up to $100,000, inclusive of 20% indirect costs (if applicable)

SOLICITATION PERIOD:
February 1st, 2019 to March 29th, 2019

PERFORMANCE PERIOD:
Not to exceed 12 months

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
The deadline for receipt of applications under this Solicitation is March 29th, 2019 at 5:00 PM EST. No applications or supplemental materials submitted in response to this solicitation will be accepted after the deadline.

DOWNLOAD SOLICITATION

*Note: Refer to the slide deck above when viewing the recording, as the slides did not advance in the recorded session.

Scope:

The SACT is requesting applications of collaborative, multidisciplinary teams involving multipleConstituent Institutions and industry that will provide near-term, measurable outcomes in health, create potential commercial viability or industry validation, and serve unmet needs of the citizens of South Carolina.

Industry neXt is the convergence of digital information and communications technologies with manufacturing processes to drive real-time control of energy, productivity, and costs across factories and companies. Smart manufacturing and the digital thread are encompassed within this scope. SCRA’s academic constituents prioritized ten sub-programs within Industry neXt that draw upon the expertise and infrastructure available within South Carolina. For this RFA, proposals must entail research in at least one of the following fields:

• Robotics, Sensors, and Control Systems

• IIoT: creation of innovations including smart products, smart production systems, smart factories,

and smart logistics running in a decentralized and dynamic fashion

• Additive Manufacturing: enabled by IIoT or smart manufacturing

• Digital Manufacturing, Design, and/or Visualization

• Human/Machine Interface

• Artificial Intelligence: includes machine learning

• Human/System Training: includes innovative training modalities (virtual, augmented, or mixed reality)

• Logistics/Risk Management/Supply Chain Management: enabled by IIoT or smart manufacturing

• Big Data and Cloud Computing for manufacturing

• Cybersecurity for manufacturing

Applications must either advance commercially relevant research or acquire equipment that will be used by multiple Constituent Institutions and made available on a state-wide basis. Applications must establish how the funding will contribute to the state-wide Industry neXt Research Alliance and lead to obtaining follow-on funding from sources such as industry and the federal government to continue development. The SACT is requesting applications from collaborative teams involving multiple Constituent Institutions and industry that will provide near-term, measurable outcomes and create potential commercial viability or industry validation in this field. Priority will be given to applications that address challenges presented by a South Carolina-based industry partner. For applications engaging with an industry partner, applicants must provide an accompanying Letter of Support verifying the unmet need.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applications will be accepted only from degree-conferring, public institution of post-secondary education in South Carolina, including CRUs, PUIs and technical colleges (defined herein as “Constituent Institutions”).

  1.  at least two Constituent Institutions or
  2.  one Constituent Institution and at least one industry partner.

Previous recipients of SACT Feasibility Grant funding are not eligible to submit under this solicitation during the performance period of their previous grant.

*The term “Constituent Institutions” means any degree-conferring, public institution of post-secondary education in South Carolina, including CRUs, PUIs and technical colleges. Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Background:

SCRA fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in academia, entrepreneurship and industry. SCRA works with industry to identify market trends and validate the commercial relevance of academic research that it funds.

SCRA and the Comprehensive Research Universities (CRUs) executed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement to build the State’s innovation economy (Collaboration Agreement), which is located in Appendix A. The Collaboration Agreement outlines the services SCRA will provide to deliver the following goals:

• Increase research funding via multi-institutional grants and other new funding vehicles

• Create and advance early-stage, technology-based companies

• Increase total capital investment

• Form public/private partnerships generating growth of the state’s industry.

The signatories of the Collaboration Agreement agreed that it would serve as the foundation for SCRA’s support to not only the CRUs but to all public academic institutions within the state. The SACT was formed to design and implement programs to fulfill the Collaboration Agreement. The SACT is a nine-member committee with representatives from the CRUs, public primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), the public technical college system, industry and SCRA. The initial efforts of the SACT have focused on the formation of Research Alliances (RAs) to expand the economic impact of academic research in South Carolina. The RAs are founded on a critical mass of high caliber talent, infrastructure, financial resources, intellectual property and research with translational relevance. The RA primary objectives are to cultivate national recognition as a leading research center, foster industry engagement, and create high-wage jobs. The SACT defined the key criteria for qualifying as an RA as the following:

• Addresses industry needs in a growing market with economic significance for the state

• Brings together existing resources across multiple institutions to rise to a level of national repute

• Has a clear path to attracting follow-on funding and resources

• Creates an opportunity for jobs, workforce development and business growth

In furtherance of its mission, the SACT is evaluating the feasibility of establishing a Research Alliance in advanced manufacturing. SCRA and its academic partners are branding this potential Research Alliance as Industry neXt. As part of the feasibility assessment, the SACT is issuing this solicitation to ascertain engagement, sustainability, and potential impact of the Research Alliance.

In addition to SACT funding, the SCRA Academic Programs division awards grant funding through the Academic Startup Assistance Program, the SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program, and the Maturation Fund Matching Grant to advance technologies or enable academic engagement with industry.

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