National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes Project Solicitation

Jan 13, 2020

by ASME.org

A new bill has been introduced that aims to change the standards for classifying manufacturing businesses as “small.” Currently, to be labeled as a small manufacturer, businesses use the average number of employees per year. The new bill, H.R. 5130, the Capturing All Small Businesses Act, would change the classification to be determined by averaging the number of employees over a two year period instead of a one year period.

Congressmen Marc Veasey (D-TX) and Kevin Hern (R-OK) introduced the bill to adjust the employment size standard requirements for determining whether a manufacturing concern is a small business concern. In a press release announcing the legislative effort, Congressman Veasey writes that the bill is intended to “mitigate the effects of sudden growth, protecting small businesses from being prematurely forced out of the small business category. Moreover, this legislation would grant small businesses additional time to transition before competing in the open market.”

Businesses that are considered small are given preference for many Federal contracts. Once the small manufacturer increases in size, they are no longer eligible for specific Federal assistance. This could stifle the growth of the business and put undue pressure on the business just as it is scaling and learning how to succeed in its new capacity. This bill intends to allow these business to hold the designation of “small” longer, so that they can transition more stably.

For the full text of the bill, please visit: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr5130/BILLS-116hr5130rh.pdf.  

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a project solicitation for National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes. This solicitation comes as a result of the White House’s National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, which was updated in 2019. The Plan identifies as its first strategic objective the need to make long-term investments in AI research by prioritizing investments in the next generation of AI that will drive discovery and insight and enable the United States to remain a world leader in AI. The National AI Research Institute Program intends to achieve this objective and is seeking proposals for Institutes that will serve as national nexus points for collaborative efforts spanning institutions of higher education, federal agencies, industry, and nonprofits.

AI Institutes will aim to accelerate the transition of innovations into many economic sectors, and nurture and grow the next generation of talent. The solicitation calls for proposals for (1) Planning, and (2) Institutes. Submissions to the Planning track are encouraged in any areas of foundational and use-inspired research appropriate to NSF and its partner organizations. Proposals for the Institute track must have a principal focus in one or more of the following themes: Trustworthy AI; Foundations of Machine Learning; AI-Driven Innovation in Agriculture and the Food System; AI-Augmented Learning; AI for Accelerating Molecular Synthesis and Manufacturing; and AI for Discovery in Physics.

Proposals are due January 28, 2020.

To view the full solicitation, please visit: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20503/nsf20503.htm.

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