Sensors NSI: Sensor Development




NSI Agency Programs


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Defense Program: DTRA supports the discovery and development of analytical methods and enabling nanomaterials for rapid and sensitive detection and identification of chemical and biological threats and of new materials to enhance protection against such threats. DTRA also supports the discovery of diagnostic methods for identifying biomarkers indicative of exposure or infection by biological agent, and new approaches in sensor data analysis and algorithms for threat detection.

Office of Naval Research (ONR) Future Naval Capabilities (FNC): FNC is a science and technology process designed to develop and transition cutting-edge technologies to acquisition programs within a three-year timeframe. The program delivers these technologies or integration into platforms, weapons, sensors, or specifications to improve Navy and Marine Corps warfighting and support capabilities. FNCs typically begin at a point at which component validation in a laboratory/relevant environment has occurred (Technology Readiness Level, or TRL 4/5). FNCs are subsequently matured to the point of a demonstrated model or prototype in a relevant/operational environment (TRL 6/7). Once the technology is demonstrated, the acquisition sponsor takes responsibility for conducting any additional research, development, test, and evaluation necessary to engineer and integrate the product into an acquisition program, or other program, ultimately leading to the deployment the new technological capability into the fleet or force.

TechLink: TechLink is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Partnership Intermediary per Authority 15 USC 3715, based at Montana State University, Bozeman. Its primary activity is brokering license agreements between DoD labs and U.S. industry for manufacture and use of DoD inventions. These inventions involve virtually all technology fields, including medicine, software, electronics, communications, advanced materials, and energy related technologies.

DARPA's Mesodynamic Architectures (Meso) Program exploits mesoscale and nonlinear dynamics to create technologies with exotic functionality and unprecedented performance in sensing, computation, communication, and navigation, while being amenable to harsh environments. 

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EPA National Center for Environmental Research (NCER): NCER runs competitions for Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants and fellowships, and research grants or contracts under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program. NCER tracks progress and research results on funded research projects through progress reports and journal articles published by grantees.

EPA Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Program focuses on conducting research to produce high-quality methods, measurements, and models needed to understand processes and factors that impact relationships between environmental pollutant sources and concentrations, human exposure, and dose. Scientists at EPA are using sophisticated test chambers to simulate atmospheric conditions under highly controlled conditions. This allows the scientists to observe the interactions of various chemicals and determine their transformation rates, products, and fates.

EPA Technology Transfer Network – Ambient Monitoring Technology Information Center (AMTIC): AMTIC contains information on ambient air quality monitoring programs, monitoring methods, quality assurance and control procedures, and Federal regulations related to ambient air quality monitoring. This site is primarily intended for use by air monitoring staff responsible for collecting ambient air monitoring data. 


FDA Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health: Formerly called the Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety (OIVD), OIR consolidates all regulatory activities for IVDs and radiological medical devices, along with electronic product radiation control responsibilities and leadership of the Mammography Quality Program. In order to foster innovation; assure that patients have access to safe, effective, and high quality medical devices; and prevent the marketing of unsafe or ineffective devices, OIR combines pre-market and post-market responsibilities into one multi-disciplinary office. In addition, OIR administers the Federal law that supports the clinical laboratory community (the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments—CLIA).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): NASA currently develops nanosensors that are highly sensitive and miniaturized, and that have low power consumption, for detection of chemical and biological species. Applications for these sensors include incorporation into lab-on-a-chip technologies for crew health monitoring, water quality monitoring in the International Space Station, and detection of biomarkers in planetary exploration. EPSCoR establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, research and development capacity, and hence, its national competitiveness.

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NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer: As part of the Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives, the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer works in concert with other NCI advanced technology initiatives to provide the scientific foundation and team science that is required to transform cancer research and care. The Alliance is a comprehensive, systematized initiative encompassing the public and private sectors, designed to accelerate the application of the best capabilities of nanotechnology to cancer. Its goals include developing research tools to identify new biological targets, agents and diagnostics to detect cancer at its earliest stages, and multi-functional devices to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic agents.

NCI Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies Program: The Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program was established to support the development, technical maturation, and dissemination of novel and potentially transformative next-generation technologies through an approach of balanced but targeted innovation. In support of its mission, the IMAT program utilizes a variety of investigator-initiated research project grant mechanisms while retaining a strong commitment to diversity and to the training of scientists and clinicians in cross-cutting, research-enabling disciplines.

NHLBI Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology: The goal of NHLBI Programs of Excellence in Nanotechnology is to develop nanotechnology-based tools for the diagnosis and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases, and to move the translation of these technologies towards clinical application.

NIBIB Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network: The National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network's (POCTRN) purpose is to drive the development of appropriate point-of-care diagnostic technologies through collaborative efforts that merge scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need. The network is comprised of the Center for Innovation in Point of Care Technologies for the Future of Cancer Care, Center for Point-of-Care Technologies Research for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and the Point of Care Technology Research Center in Primary Care. The  Centers in the Network evaluate promising point-of-care prototype devices, perform appropriate clinical testing of devices, develop partnerships with industry and other stakeholders to facilitate commercialization, and provide training in the development and use of point-of-care technologies.  More information about the network and resources can be found on the POCTRN site.

NIEHS Exposure Biology and Exposome Program: This program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) seeks to study and improve understanding of the exposome, the totality of the exposures that a person experiences from conception to death along with the associated biological response, to better understand the role of environmental exposures in human disease. The program supports development and validation of wearable and field deployable sensor systems for measuring chemical exposures, dietary intake, physical activity, psychosocial stress, and substances abuse. The program also hosts webinars on exposure science and the exposome and provides information on funding and program activities in exposome research. 

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NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies: The NIOSH Center for Direct Reading and Sensor Technologies (NCDRST) was established in May 2014 to coordinate research and to develop recommendations on the use of 21st century technologies in occupational safety and health. The NCDRST is a virtual center hosted by the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology and the NIOSH Exposure Assessment Cross Sector Program. The center aims to: coordinate a national research agenda for direct-reading methods and sensor technologies; develop guidance documents pertinent to direct-reading methods and sensors, including validation and performance characteristics; develop training protocols; and establish partnerships to collaborate in the Center’s activities.

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Nanotechnology at NIST: Advancing nanoscale measurement science, standards, and nanotechnology is an important component of NIST's mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness.  NIST further supports the US nanotechnology enterprise from discovery to production through its user Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) user facility on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. From leading cutting edge research to coordinating the development of standards that promote trade, NIST's programs in nanotechnology directly impact priorities important to the nation's economy and wellbeing. There are many mechanisms to collaborate with NIST – for example, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), grants, cooperative agreements, participation in standards development organizations, and as a guest researcher on-site at the NIST campus.

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NSF Program on Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems: The emphasis of the program is on research to overcome the key scientific and technological barriers that prevent the production of useful nanomaterials, nanostructures, devices, and systems at an industrially relevant scale, reliably, and at low cost and within environmental, health, and safety guidelines.

NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™): I-Corps is a set of activities and programs that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select, NSF-funded, basic-research projects. Combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum, I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants.

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USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Program: The AFRI program is charged with funding research, education, and extension grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of National, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and conventional breeding.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program: The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program: STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.