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About the Conference



The National Science Foundation (NSF)
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $5.5 billion, we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

We fulfill our mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants—currently about 10,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years—to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the outermost frontiers of knowledge. NSF’s goal is to support the people, ideas and tools that together make discovery possible. That’s why we say NSF is "where discoveries begin."

Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation (DMI)
The Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation supports fundamental research in design, manufacturing and service, in addition to managing cross-cutting programs supporting small business and organizational innovation, and fostering academic collaboration with industry, that encompass all parts of NSF.

The Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation (DMI) seeks to extend the intellectual foundations of design and manufacturing by identifying key research and education issues in partnership with industry, government, and academe, and by funding projects to address them. DMI encourages the submission of proposals by individual researchers and small research groups spanning a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines.  DMI also supports research leading to the improvement of U.S. industrial productivity and the commercialization of new knowledge by the small business community through NSF´s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR)
The University of Missouri-Rolla is Missouri’s premier technological research university. UMR’s tradition of excellence goes back to its founding in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (MSM). We were the first technological university west of the Mississippi and one of the first in the United States. For over 130 years, we’ve been one of the nation’s premier universities for science, technology, and, of course, engineering.

 In 1964, MSM became known as the University of Missouri – Rolla, and now awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in 35 fields of engineering, science, humanities, and social sciences. Today, UMR continues its tradition of educating skilled professionals in engineering and science, and ranks among the top 25 American universities in the number of undergraduate engineering degrees awarded each year. Known for its small, caring environment and its individualized attention to students, UMR proudly brings its strong tradition of academic excellence into the 21st century, offering the quality of a private-school education at a public school price.