- Can an an institution/researcher identify federal dollars as part of the required match for the innovation grant program.
Answer: Yes it would be acceptable for one to use federal funds to serve as the match for the innovation grant program. The only exclusion would be state level funds that were awarded through a competitive grant process.
- The RFP for the Collaboration grant states that “Requests made to this pool of funds must represent multi-institutional infrastructure investments in either research faculty or significant upgrades in both equipment and facilities.” In addition, the RFP seems infrastructure development heavy with the four specified allowed expenditure items. Would there be any specific activities that would not fit such as Center development, graduate students, tech transfer and industrial partnership development, etc.?
Answer: Each of the expenditures identified above would be allowable, and it is conceivable that all four could be featured in a proposal. One of the drivers for the creation of this particular funding pool was to provide additional opportunities for institutions who were not successful through the Governor Research Center proposal process to coordinate similar research activities. One of the primary requirements for the GRC program has been the need to foster collaborations between institutions to create viable research centers, and the funding of graduate students and technology transfer activity have each been logical uses of the award dollars. PI’s are encourages to provide a solid framework for how the expenditures in each of these areas will be critical for establishing the objectives being presented.
- Is the relationship to the R&D areas something we will have to be very explicit about, and is it possible to engage in activities that cut across more than one of these established areas?
Answer: The RFP guidelines do provide space for PI’s to articulate the connection the proposal has with the established R&D areas outlined in the 2020 Vision document. Reviewers will be asked to consider this alignment when evaluating the proposals, so PI’s are encouraged to give considerable thought to how the activities undertaken will fit with the broader state economic development goals (i.e., including the alignment to the five industry sectors). While it is possible for each of these R&D areas to be mutually exclusive, the REACH committee did recognize that research activity can easily cut across multiple R&D areas. If a proposal does provide for such cross-cutting opportunities, then PI’s are encouraged to emphasize such opportunities in the proposal.
- Has the report “2020 Vision: The South Dakota Science and Innovation Strategy” been well received by the stakeholders, and similarly, should that document be used (beyond defining R&D priority areas) to assist when drafting the Collaboration proposal?
Answer: The Governor has reviewed and supported the action items being set forth in the 2020 Vision document, and the Board of Regents developed the current funding opportunities to provide researchers in the Regental system with financial support to move R&D activity that aligns with the areas identified in the report. There are a number of other action items in the report that could logically present opportunities for PI’s to advance multiple outcomes. If you believe that such synergies exist one is encouraged to highlight those in the proposal.
- What are the timelines for the BOR R&D Grants?
Innovation Grant: January 1, 2014 is when you can start spending funds
June 1, 2015 is the final date all funds must be expended by
Collaboration Grant: January 1, 2014 is when you can start spending funds
June 1, 2016 is the final date all funds must be expended by