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National Academy of Public Administration makes key recommendations to the National Science Foundation for the establishment of new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships

Post Date: January 16, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A panel convened by the National Academy of Public Administration has released a comprehensive report: Assessing the Conditions for the Successful Establishment of the NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships, mandated by Congress for the National Science Foundation. The report details key practices and processes that the new Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) should institute and maintain to ensure a successful launch of the agency’s first new directorate of the 21st Century.

The NSF, an independent federal agency established by act of Congress in 1950, seeks to promote research and development across the fields of science and engineering, with the aim of helping the United States stay at the leading edge of state-of-the-art scientific discoveries. The TIP Directorate was established in 2022 to further enhance that mission and focus directly on the challenges of the future.

“Our expert Panel of Academy Fellows has provided the NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships with valuable organizational insights that, if followed, can advance their vital mission and ensure their operations create a promising future,” said Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the Academy. “We’re grateful for the cooperation of NSF employees and key stakeholders, whose participation helped us build a strong set of actionable recommendations for the leaders of NSF and TIP.”

The five-person Panel found that closely monitoring staffing needs, rigorous internal benchmarking, and forward-looking communication among leaders across directorates will all be key to putting TIP on solid early footing and encouraging sustained success.

"We are delighted to see the findings of the Academy report, which acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the TIP and NSF team in launching and firmly establishing the agency’s first new directorate in more than three decades with initiatives and programs that are advancing American competitiveness,” said Erwin Gianchandani, Assistant Director for TIP. “At the same time, we welcome the Academy’s recommendations to further refine and strengthen our approach to sustain TIP, and we have already initiated steps to implement this expert guidance.”

Academy panelists acknowledged that in evaluating TIP, they were making recommendations based on the efforts required to stand up a new program at an established agency, and that many best practices have already been identified and implemented prior to the completion of the overall review. The report recommends five key strategies to ensure both early and long-term success for the new directorate:

  1. TIP should establish a formal, integrated strategic management process.
  2. TIP leaders should develop a strategic workforce planning process to regularly determine if staff headcount and skillsets are meeting the larger needs of the directorate.
  3. Senior leaders of NSF and TIP should jointly develop an implementation plan for the Strategic Partnerships Hub (SPH) that prioritizes the Hub’s responsibilities and resource needs.
  4. TIP leaders should work collaboratively with NSF and mission support leaders to develop a plan that identifies and prioritizes resource opportunities and upcoming challenges.
  5. TIP leaders should work with the leaders of other NSF directorates to ensure cross-collaboration and needs for joint funding opportunities.

For more information, or to read the full report, find it online at the Academy’s website here:

National Science Foundation Technology Innovation Partnership Evaluation

For Immediate Release

Contact: Matt Hampton

About the National Academy of Public Administration

Chartered by Congress to provide nonpartisan expert advice, the Academy is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization established in 1967 to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations. Learn more at