The Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) strives to keep the nation at the forefront of engineering discoveries. A part of the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), EFRI serves a critical role in pursuing timely investments in creative ideas that can push engineering research beyond its apparent limits.
Some fungi can produce ethanol by converting cellulose, which makes up the vast bulk of plant resources but has been costly to processMore...
In the Media
Contact lenses that integrate biosensors, an EFRI-funded project at the University of Washington, drew widespread media interest when Google announced it intended to develop a glucose-sensing lens. Leaders of the Google project, including Babak Parviz and Brian Otis, said the lens would help diabetics manage their disease. The scientists worked on integrating a range of bio-sensors at the University of Washington, where the EFRI-funded research continues under lead investigator Karl Bohringer.
A technology that one day might enable IKEA bookcases to assemble themselves from flat shipping boxes was recently featured on National Public Radio's website. The EFRI-funded research is showing how materials used in 3D printers can incorporate “shape memory” that later enables an object to fold into a desired shape. Time is the added dimension in what's called “4D printing” by a research team led by H. Jerry Qi of the University of Colorado-Boulder.
President Barack Obama awarded the U.S. government’s highest honor for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers to EFRI researcher Sridevi Sarma of Johns Hopkins University. The award recognized Dr. Sarma’s work toward transforming the control of electrical deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, and for innovative educational and outreach activities.