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NSF 2021 Solicitation Released!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invests $200 MILLION, without taking equity, each year in entrepreneurs and small businesses focused on research and development of deep technologies - those that are based on discoveries in fundamental science and engineering.

Technology Topic Areas

  • Advanced Analytics (AA)

  • Advanced Manufacturing (M)

  • Advanced Materials (AM)

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality (AV)

  • Biological Technologies (BT)

  • Biomedical Technologies (BM)

  • Chemical Technologies (CT)

  • Cloud and High-Performance Computing (CH)

  • Cybersecurity and Authentication (CA)

  • Digital Health (DH)

  • Distributed Ledger (DL)

  • Energy Technologies (EN)

  • Environmental Technologies (ET)

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HC)

  • Instrumentation and Hardware Systems (IH)

  • Internet of Things (I)

  • Learning and Cognition Technologies (LC)

  • Medical Devices (MD)

  • Mobility (MO)

  • Nanotechnology (N)

  • Pharmaceutical Technologies (PT)

  • Photonics (PH)

  • Power Management (PM)

  • Quantum Information Technologies (QT)

  • Robotics (R)

  • Semiconductors (S)

  • Space (SP)

  • Wireless Technologies (W)

View Topic Area Descriptions Here

2021 Submission Windows

February 12 - March 4

March 5 - June 3

June 4 - September 2

September 3 - December 2

Project Pitch

The required Project Pitch, which can be submitted anytime, allows startups and small businesses to get quick feedback at the start of their application for Phase I funding. If your Project Pitch is a good fit for the program, you will receive an official invitation from NSF to submit a full proposal. The Project Pitch will outline four key elements:

  1. The Technology Innovation

  2. The Technical Objectives & Challenges

  3. The Market Opportunity

  4. The Company & Team

How to Apply

To learn about the Phase I application timeline, how to prepare your Project Pitch, and what to expect once you submit your Project Pitch or full proposal, visit

If you have questions about your company's eligibility or whether your technology is a good fit, schedule a consultation with our staff during our open office hours:

Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Spark Opportunity. Ignite Change.

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