people in meeting

Release Date

November 28, 2018

National Science Foundation Announces Funding Opportunity under the National Robotics Initiative

The National Science Foundation's NRI-2.0 program builds upon the original National Robotics Initiative (NRI) program to support fundamental research in the United States that will accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots (co-robots) that work beside or cooperatively with people. The focus of the NRI-2.0 program is onubiquity, which in this context means seamless integration of co-robots to assist humans in every aspect of life.

NSF has identified $35,000,000 for investment with the anticipation of awards to 60 projects. Closing date for applications is February 19, 2019. NSF notes in the eligibility section that community colleges are eligible to apply.

The program supports four main research thrusts that are envisioned to advance the goal of ubiquitous co-robots: scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact. Topics addressing scalability include how robots can collaborate effectively with multiple humans or other robots; how robots can perceive, plan, act, and learn in uncertain, real-world environments, especially in a distributed fashion; and how to facilitate large-scale, safe, robust and reliable operation of robots in complex environments.

Customizability includes how to enable co-robots to adapt to specific tasks, environments, or people, with minimal modification to hardware and software; how robots can personalize their interactions with people; and how robots can communicate naturally with humans, both verbally and non-verbally. Topics in lowering barriers to entry should focus on lowering the barriers for conducting fundamental robotics research and research on integrated robotics application. This may include development of open-source co-robot hardware and software, as well as widely-accessible testbeds. Outreach or using robots in educational programs do not, by themselves, lower the barriers to entry for robotics research.

Topics in societal impact include fundamental research to establish and infuse robotics into educational curricula, advance the robotics workforce through education pathways, and explore the social, economic, ethical, and legal implications of our future with ubiquitous collaborative robots.

Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment, and use.

The NRI-2.0 program is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).


Release Date

November 28, 2018

Workforce Development and Good Jobs: Two Regional NGA Workshops Remain, Governors' Guide on "Good Jobs for All Americans" Slated for Release at Summer Meeting

Regional leaders, including governors, their staff, business leaders, researchers, philanthropists, and other stakeholders will gather to have in-depth discussions focused on the Good Jobs for All Americans framework, providing their input, and sharing solutions they have developed. The first meeting was held in Pittsburgh in mid-September. The remaining schedule:

Dec. 5-6, 2018 - Las Vegas March 4-5, 2019 - Des Moines

Governors and other national leaders will gather in Whitefish, Montana to highlight state leadership, unveil the cumulative findings of the Regional Leadership Workshops, and finalize a Governors' Guide and next steps to ensure the availability of Good Jobs for All Americans.

At the 2019 NGA Summer Meeting, Governor Bullock will present the completed "Governors' Guide: A Roadmap for Providing Good Jobs for All Americans," building on the conversations and activities held across the country throughout the initiative. This will serve as a launching point for further action by governors to help workers prepare for current and future careers.

Questions regarding attendance interest in the Las Vegas and Des Moines meetings can be directed to Michael Bartlett (

Release Date

November 28, 2018

Latest Updates to WorkforceGPS: Enhancements to Search, Resource Library, Events Library

From the WorkforceGPS team

For frequent WorkforceGPS visitors, you may have noticed some changes. In our ongoing efforts to improve your experience, we just implemented several updates that we hope you will find helpful as you navigate to success on our website. Here are the highlights:

  • Improved Search results interface. WorkforceGPS Search results pages now have bolder subject lines, larger text, and include more summary, making it easier than ever to find what you're searching for. And just to make sure, we've added a Search Feedback feature at the bottom of each search page. Check out the new Search by entering a search term here.
  • New-look Resource Library. We've replaced the 'laundry list' of taxonomy terms with a fresher card sort interface. See our Resource Library here.
  • Improved Events listing. Our new Events listings now have bolder subject lines, larger text, and are sorted on separate upcoming or past listings. Also, Events are now searchable! Click here to appreciate the new Events listing.
Updated: November 28, 2018