NSF innovation director to share funding opportunities

Andrea Belz

Andrea Belz, “an expert in transforming innovation into profit,” will visit the University of Oregon to share her funding insights with faculty members at two events Wednesday, Nov. 13.

A researcher, consultant and entrepreneur, Belz holds a doctorate in experimental nuclear physics and has professional experiences like “developing technology roadmaps for solar system exploration" for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

In her first event, Belz will discuss National Science Foundation resources for researchers seeking translational grants. As the director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Belz manages programs that accelerate the commercialization and social impact of NSF-funded grants.

Her presentation on NSF resources starts at 9 a.m. in the Coquille Room in Erb Memorial Union.

At a second event, Belz will describe her own studies on translating scientific research into businesses. Belz tracks publicly funded technology transfer endeavors through her work as the vice dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering and Innovation at the University of Southern California.

Belz has worked in industry sectors such as aerospace, finance and cybersecurity developing educational and assessment metrics to improve the process of translating academic research into entrepreneurship.

She’ll present her research at 1:30 p.m. in Room 440, Lillis Hall. The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact sponsors her visit.

Researchers who want to learn more about funding opportunities can attend an informational session the evening before Belz speaks. Innovation Partnership Services and Research Development Services are hosting a “Research to Impact Funding Opportunities Mixer” in the Falling Sky Brewery in the EMU from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12.

Grant specialists will explain how to leverage existing NSF funds to get money to support translational work and graduate funding, including through NSF programs Belz manages.

The mixer also includes a discussion on translational research grants available through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation such as the VPRI Translational Research Grant and the state’s University Innovation Research Fund. Innovation Partnership Services can also answer questions about contracts, disclosures and intellectual property registration to support researchers through the translation process.

The mixer is also part of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship’s Startup Week.

The back-to-back events should provide interested researchers with ideas for novel funding mechanisms and potential outcomes for research.