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Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Science Foundation.

ACTION:

Submission for OMB Review; comment request.

SUMMARY:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 1670, and no comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed renewal submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain.

Comments: Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; or (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725—17th Street NW. Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and to Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230 or send email to splimpto@nsf.gov. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling 703-292-7556.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne H. Plimpton at (703) 292-7556 or send email to splimpto@nsf.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).

NSF may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title of Collection: Grantee Reporting Requirements for the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs).

OMB Number: 3145-0220.

Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to establish an information collection.

Abstract:

Proposed Project: The Engineering Research Centers (ERC) program supports an integrated, interdisciplinary research environment to advance fundamental engineering knowledge and engineered systems; educate a globally competitive and diverse engineering workforce from K-12 on; and join academe and industry in partnership to achieve these goals. ERCs conduct world-class research through partnerships of academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities. New knowledge thus created is meaningfully linked to society.

ERCs conduct world-class research with an engineered systems perspective that integrates materials, devices, processes, components, control algorithms and/or other enabling elements to perform a well-defined function. These systems provide a unique academic research and education experience that involves integrative complexity and technological realization. The complexity of the systems perspective includes the factors associated with its use in industry, society/environment, or the human body.

ERCs enable and foster excellent education, integrate research and education, speed knowledge/technology transfer through partnerships between academe and industry, and prepare a more competitive future workforce. ERCs capitalize on diversity through participation in center activities and demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

Centers will be required to submit annual reports on progress and plans, which will be used as a basis for performance review and determining the level of continued funding. To support this review and the management of a Center, ERCs will also be required to submit management and performance indicators annually to NSF via a data collection Web site that is managed by a technical assistance contractor. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include, for example, the characteristics of center personnel and students; sources of cash and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; characteristics of industrial and/or other sector participation; research activities; education activities; knowledge transfer activities; patents, licenses; publications; degrees granted to students involved in Center activities; descriptions of significant advances and other outcomes of the ERC effort. Such reporting requirements will be included in the cooperative agreement which is binding between the academic institution and the NSF.

Each Center's annual report will address the following categories of activities: (1) Vision and impact, (2) strategic plan, (3) research program, (4) innovation ecosystem and industrial collaboration, (5) education, (6) infrastructure (leadership, management, facilities, diversity) and (7) budget issues.

For each of the categories the report will describe overall objectives for the year, progress toward center goals, problems the Center has encountered in making progress towards goals and how they were overcome, plans for the future and anticipated research and other barriers to overcome in the following Start Printed Page 14415year, and specific outputs and outcomes.

Use of the Information: The data collected will be used for NSF internal reports, historical data, performance review by peer site visit teams, program level studies and evaluations, and for securing future funding for continued ERC program maintenance and growth.

Estimate of Burden: 100 hours per center for 17 centers for a total of 1,700 hours.

Respondents: Academic institutions.

Estimated Number of Responses per Report: One from each of the 17 ERCs.

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Dated: March 16, 2015.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2015-06301 Filed 3-18-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7555-01-P