Accelerating the Bioeconomy with Protein Design & Cell-Free Initiatives

April 12, 2024
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recently published $80 million in funding opportunities designed to accelerate key scientific areas that will enable new applications of importance to the U.S. bioeconomy. As part of the funding opportunities, the NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) is promoting two critical initiatives over the next three years: • The Use-Inspired Acceleration of Protein Design (USPRD) initiative seeks to advance protein design and its applications, with specific emphasis on the design of enzymes. • The Advancing Cell-Free Systems Toward Increased Range of Use-Inspired Applications (CFIRE) initiative will address the key limitations of cell-free technology and place it on an exponential growth path. These programs were created to accelerate the adoption of cell-free systems and AI-based approaches to protein design, enabling new applications in each area. Both initiatives follow the NSF’s Ideas Lab process, an interactive workshop where experts from diverse backgrounds collaborate on transformative solutions. In this SynBioBeta webinar, Waleed Nasser, PhD, Program Director at NSF’s TIP program, will outline the program's fundamental goals and, importantly, describe what investigators must do to qualify and take advantage of this funding opportunity. Moreover, Waleed will discuss the Ideas Lab process. Join us for the live Q&A session following the presentation, where Waleed will be accompanied by his colleague David Tennenhouse, PhD, Senior Advisor at NSF, to answer all your questions. This webinar will dive deep into the new NSF initiatives, highlighting their potential to redefine protein design and cell-free system application—offering an exhilarating glimpse into the future of the U.S. bioeconomy.
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