FIERCE logo depicting partnerships of agriculture, forestry and science in a climate-smart economy.

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FIERCE – NSF Regional Innovation Engine

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals for Innovation Engines to catalyze and sustain economic prosperity in regions of the US that have not reached their economic potential. The program will invest up to $160 million over ten years to each selected engine with the goal of creating self-sustaining economies.

Our engine proposal (FIERCE) is a bold, transformative economic engine targeting the rural and underserved communities of the Columbia River Basin region in the Pacific Northwest to catalyze a climate-smart economy. Many efforts are underway to combat climate change, but pace of progress is incremental because approaches are disjunct and poorly integrated among sub-disciplines and sectors. Our goal is to bridge the climate-economy gap between scientists, industry, tribes, NGOs, government agencies, and communities. The need for integrative solutions that create a path for rural resilience and economic prosperity is clear –and the creation of transformative partnerships across multiple organizational types is crucial for any long-lasting, effective economic climate action. These types of partnerships and technologies when integrated will create new, green jobs and stop climate change. 

Our vision is to capitalize on the Columbia River Basin’s rich natural resources to develop innovative products, solutions, and a skilled workforce to fuel a resilient economy that will solve climate change. FIERCE will become the premier think tank and accelerator that creates and nurtures climate-smart solutions for our region with an emphasis on promoting diversity, creativity, and equity in the workforce.

The FIERCE engine focuses on three major efforts to generate a climate-smart economy:

  •  Development of climate-smart natural and technological solutions through the integration of chemistry, biology, natural resources, and engineering research.
  • Development of partnerships with climate-smart venture capitalists and corporations to scale-up solutions and products through investment in existing and new regional businesses
  • Creation of a STEM workforce development program that transcends traditional disciplinary, vocational, and educational boundaries for creation, implementation, monitoring, and assessment of solutions that have an actual impact on the atmosphere.
Map of the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Montana with a boundary around the Columbia River Basin. Inside the boundary are logos of entities showing partnerships.
FIERCE Partners