RENO, NEVADA—A comprehensive review this fall of the initial six engineering research centers funded by NSF will be the first decisive test of Director Erich Bloch’s efforts to bring about major improvements in U.S. engineering research and education.
The ERC program has grown since 1985 to its current level of 13 centers and an annual budget of $30 million. The budget is expected to grow to $48 million next year and $65 million in fiscal 1989, and encompass as many as 25 centers by 1990.
The October review, which comes in the centers’ third year of operation, will determine which sites receive an additional five years of funding and which will be phased out after the final two years of NSF’s five-year commitment. NSF officials expect successful centers to undergo another comprehensive review after six years, with the opportunity to receive a maximum of 11 years of federal support.