NSF Alliance for Innovation

Matching California Community Colleges and Small Businesses.

Research shows that increasing student involvement in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields makes our nation more competitive globally and merits national priority. However, many undergraduate students abandon degrees in STEM fields due to the lack of opportunities to engage in real-world research experiences, traditionally reserved for graduate students. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is offering supplemental funds to small businesses with active Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT) phase II grants in order to engage undergraduate students in innovative research.
The NSF Alliance for Innovation Program (Program) aims to help businesses and Community Colleges secure this funding. The Program will identify small businesses that are eligible to pursue funding and match these businesses with Community College research teams, offering the support they need to develop successful proposals. Funding will provide up to $10k for the business and $30k for the Community College research team.
NSF Alliance for Innovation was designed to positively impact local businesses through supporting and furthering their involvement in innovative research projects, demonstrating the value of applied STEM research supported by the National Science Foundation. Through creating these partnerships between academic institutions and private industries, this Program will not only benefit STEM students and increase the supply of skilled workers in these fields, but also has the potential to increase the amount and quality of research being performed overall—a crucial component of success and progress in our economy.

Program Benefits

  • Developing a globally competitive workforce in the STEM fields
  • Supporting small business innovation
  • Increasing participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields
  • Improving undergraduate education and teacher development
  • Connecting academic research and work-based learning
  • Increasing economic competitiveness

Fact Sheet

Download the Alliance for Innovation Fact Sheets:

Fact Sheet for Businesses >

Fact Sheet for Faculty and Students >

Contact Us

Joshua Modlin
Senior Specialist
T: 916.325.1852
E: jmodlin@foundationccc.org

Iris Aguilar
Director, Environmental Programs and Special Projects
T: 916.325.1858
E: iaguilar@foundationccc.org


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The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 114 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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