The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a solicitation for the development of new open-source ecosystems, with the potential for $28 million in funding awards.

The announcement comes as the agency looks to shift toward relying more on open source ecosystems through its new Pathway to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (POSE) program.

“The expected outcomes of the POSE program are to grow the communities of researchers and innovators who develop and contribute to open-source ecosystems (OSEs), and to enable pathways for the safe and secure development of OSEs that have broad societal and economic impacts,” the agency said.

The open-source ecosystems can work across a variety of projects, the agency explained.

“Many NSF-funded projects result in publicly accessible, modifiable, and distributable open-source products, including software, hardware, models, specifications, programming languages, or data platforms, that catalyze further innovation,” NSF said.

“This program will ensure more secure open-source products, increased coordination of developer contributions, and a more focused route to impactful technologies,” said Barry Johnson, division director for the Division of Translational Impacts within NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP).

The program will have two types of proposals which will allow teams to “propose specific activities to scope and plan the establishment of an OSE.”  Funding grants for those will total up to $300,000 per project.

Proposals that seek to “establish a sustainable OSE based on a robust open-source product that shows promise in its ability to both meet an emergent societal or economic need and build a community to help develop it” may qualify for funding awards of up to $1.5 million, NSF said.

The solicitation is looking for open-source projects in the fields of engineering, geosciences, and STEM education, among others.

Proposals are due by Sept. 7.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.