Markets Opinion

School Improvement RFP of the Week (1): Fans of Clayton Christensen Take Note

June 10, 2008 3 min read
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From Monday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report
Announcement: Expeditions in Computing Due September 10 (Jun 5) National Science Foundation

Their Description:

he far-reaching impact and rate of innovation in the computing and information disciplines has been remarkable, generating economic prosperity and enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the world. But the best is yet to come!

The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has created the Expeditions in Computing (Expeditions) program....

The Expeditions program has three goals:

• To catalyze far-reaching research explorations motivated by deep scientific questions or hard problems in the computing and information fields, and/or by compelling applications that promise significant societal benefits;

• To inspire current and future generations of Americans, especially those from under-represented groups, to pursue rewarding careers in computer and information science and engineering; and

• To stimulate significant research and education outcomes that, through effective knowledge transfer mechanisms, promise scientific, economic and/or other societal benefits.

Projects supported by the Expeditions program comprise the following characteristics:

• Foster research climates that nurture creativity and informed risk-taking, and value complementary research and education contributions such that the whole Expedition is greater than the sum of its parts;

• Draw upon well-integrated, diverse teams of investigators from one or more disciplines within computer and information science and engineering, as well as investigators from other fields where necessary;

• Stimulate effective knowledge transfer;

• Demonstrate experimental systems or support shared experimental facilities (including instruments, platforms and/or testbeds), where necessary, to enable discovery and learning.

Estimated program budget is $30,000,000.... CISE anticipates hosting an Expeditions competition annually, making three awards in each competition that over five years will result in steady-state support for fifteen projects..... Funded at levels up to $2,000,000 per year for five years, Expeditions represent some of the largest single investments currently made by the directorate. Together with the Science and Technology Centers...Expeditions form the centerpiece of the directorate’s award portfolio....

U.S. academic institutions with... doctoral programs in computer and information science and engineering fields may submit proposals as lead or collaborative institutions. Subawardees may include two-and four-year colleges, non-profit non-academic organizations such as independent museums, institutes, observatories, professional societies and similar organizations in the US that are directly associated with education or research activities in the computing and information fields. Other organizations such as national laboratories, for-profit organizations and organizations in other countries may participate in the proposed activities if they have independent sources of support; they will not be supported by NSF.

My Thoughts: How much “disruptive innovation” could you do with $2 million ? This is basic research, the source of all product development. Providers should consider how they might participate, based on what they bring to the table. This includes talent, direct experience with real world needs, and diverse relationships with schools, teachers and students.

As for topics, consider an “adaptive management” testbed for public school improvement policy. (Especially relating school AYP and product SBR.)

K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report is a comprehensive weekly web-enabled report delivered by email on Monday. It covers grant and contract RFPs issued by every federal and state education and social services agency and every school district over the internet.

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