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U.S. Mission to Georgia announces University Research Program

U.S. Mission to Georgia announces University Research Program

Deadline: 30-Jul-21

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, is pleased to announce an open competition for a University Capacity Building Program (UCBP) to better leverage and integrate the various missions – education, research, and engagement – in order to increase the contribution of higher education research institutions to promote innovation and economic growth.

U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organizations and accredited American higher education institutions may submit proposals to manage a 12-to-18-month professional development program for Georgian university administrators, development and grant officers, as well as higher education decision-makers/government officials responsible for the Knowledge Exchange (KE) and university-business-government triangle.

The UCBP aims to improve the entrepreneurial capacity of Georgian higher education institutions (HEIs) by strengthening strategic skills and overall knowledge of university administrators and research development officers. In the “knowledge triangle” between government, academia, and the private sector, Georgian HEIs seem to be the weak link.

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The project will include a two-week intensive study tour, U.S. experts’ reciprocal visit to Georgia and follow up sustainability measures for the participants to apply gained knowledge at their home institutions. A successful proposal will demonstrate how it will help Georgia:
Develop the triangle between government, academia and the private sector, through shared knowledge, processes and support;
Establish sustainable collaborations between universities, industry, and business start-ups;
Encourage a university culture of industry collaboration that becomes an institutional priority, involving human and capital resources required for effective collaboration;
Sustain projects between universities and private industry.
The following are specific and tangible objectives of the project:
Help to institutionalize research development offices in universities to liaise with local private sector entities, through various means, including online platforms. Such linkages would provide platforms for exchange of ideas, imagining of opportunities, and establishing networks;
Establish a network of professionals from various universities, government agencies, and professional associations that work together on enhancing the university-private sector-innovation triangle;
Help to create a common agenda for regular discussions between academics and entrepreneurs by nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems at universities;
Raise awareness among government officials about the connection between university research and entrepreneurship, both in industry and service sectors. This will generate greater appreciation among government officials about the potential HEIs have to enhance economic growth beyond vocational training;
Micro fund allocated within the award would ensure sustainability of the project by allowing participants to apply gained knowledge at their home institutions and implementing various initiatives.
Spark cultural change in universities by adopting an entrepreneurial philosophy, demonstrating commitment to the practical matters of economic growth and entrepreneurship.
Following topics/activities (the list can be further expanded) may be supported:
Trainings in strategic planning, grant writing, project management, capacity building, including creating or enhancing a comprehensive research development office to assist faculty in obtaining institutional and research funding through grant-writing and other means; and a robust advancement department that includes third party funding – national and international donor sources, private sector, and government;
Presenting models for a fully functional research development office designed to increase university’s annual sponsored funding totals;
Course management for online teaching: assessment, platforms, feedback, integrity;
Counseling on establishing joint programs and off-site activities (such as summer programs) with the entrepreneurial entities.
Visits to government agencies in charge of fostering collaboration between business and universities;
Presentations and resources that convey the principles of research commercialization and its impact on economic growth;
Visits to entrepreneurial universities and science/business/tech incubators to demonstrate how they operate and can be replicated;
Explanations of how technology transfer offices support faculty and convert intellectual property into commercialized products or services through patents and/or licensing.
Funding Information

Length of performance period: up to 18 months with possibility of time/ cost extension
Award amounts: The maximum amount of a grant is $200,000
Program Performance Period: 12 – 18 months
Expected Results

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The final outcome of the project is overall enhanced capacity of university personnel, better awareness on business-university-government collaboration, and practical decisions to strengthen capacities of university research development offices. The following are recommended projected outcomes of the program:

Greater use of university research output by entrepreneurial entities, through targeted business-university collaboration efforts.
Establishment of a network of Georgian university administrators/ personnel responsible for business-university-government collaboration with information and experience gained through the UCBP;
Establishment of Research Development and fundraising offices wherever needed, or, where they already exist, their improved operation;
Integration of new online courses and joint programs for improved use of online resources for university-business collaboration, utilizing more robust systems for online course management and project management, including assessment, monitoring, impact measurement, etc.;
Establishment of sustainable institutionalized ties between the universities and business associations, thus contributing to Georgian universities’ more effective collaboration with potential employers in private sector and government.
Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility is limited to U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations, universities and educational institutions. Direct funding for non-U.S. entities is not available under this announcement.
Private institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=333763

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