National Robotics Initiative (NRI) Releases FY 2020 Project Solicitation

Dec 16, 2019

by ASME.org

The National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI-2.0) will be accepting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 projects between February 12 and February 26, 2020. The NRI-2.0 program supports fundamental research to accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots (co-robot). 40 to 60 awards totaling $22,000,000 to $32,000,000 will be made each year, subject to the availability of funds. Foundational projects will range from $250,000 to $750,000 in total costs for up to three years, while integrative projects will range from $250,000 to $1,500,000 in total costs for up to four years.

The FY 2020 solicitation was recently released with 8 updates:

  1. Revised deadline of applications: February 12-February 26, 2020
  2. The definition of co-robot has been updated: A co-robot will now be defined as a robot whose main purpose is to work with people or other robots to accomplish a goal. An ideal co-robot is an adaptable partner, not limited to a narrow set of specified interactions or functions, but able to significantly enhance team performance despite changes in its role, its teammates, or the team’s collective goals.
  3. The definitions of the themes have been updated: The program supports four main research themes that advance the goal, including scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact. A definition for each is provided in the solicitation.
  4. The lower funding bound of INT projects has changed: Integrative (INT) projects focus on research in the innovative integration of technologies leading to complete co-robotic systems and will be in the range of $250,000 to $1,500,000.
  5. NASA will only consider projects that are within its stated cost limits: $150,000 to $300,000 per year.
  6. USDA/NIFA will only consider projects that are within its stated cost limits: $150,000 to $300,000 per year.
  7. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been added as a partner organization.
  8. The Department of Energy and the Department of Defense have been removed as partner organizations.


To view the full solicitation please visit: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20522/nsf20522.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click.