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Making Your Dream a Reality

Diane Hickey with the National Science Foundation


Chat Transcript

This session aired at ScIC7 Science is Cool Virtual Unconference on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

Haven’t seen the innovation that YOU need? Consider becoming an entrepreneur and create that solution! The NSF has a program that provides SEED awards to small companies to bring innovative learning and cognition products to market. Diane introduces the SBIR/STTR program, highlights awardees who used to be science educators before they became science entrepreneurs, and discusses how you can apply for your own innovation award.

ScIC6 - Unconference - NSF


Diane Hickey Program Director | National Science Foundation

Diane Hickey joined NSF as an SBIR/STTR program director in August 2020. She has extensive experience in multiple technical fields and early-stage deep technology ventures. Diane founded the Diamond Chameleon Group and grew a broad team providing commercialization services to more than 40 SBIR awardees and deep technology startups with funding across government agencies. Diane began her career at Accenture, implementing enterprise-wide systems in utility and chemical corporations. She then joined C-Bridge Internet Solutions, an MIT-based startup that provided technologies to connect corporate back-end systems to users; the company went public in 1999, and merged with Excelon in 2000 and Progress Software Corp (PRGS) in 2004. After completing her Ph.D., Diane joined Advanced Diamond Technologies (ADT), a startup spun out of Argonne National Laboratory, she helped the company transition from grant support to commercial sustainability. Diane has held life-long roles in STEM education, including the NSF Young Scholars program, participation in the NSF Nanotechnology Informal Science Education network, and as a Sisters4Science mentor. She has also supported science education startups, served as the school and homeschool liaison for the Tampa’s Children’s Museum and has taught for Kaplan, Inc. Diane consulted on science education and pursued graduate coursework at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Diane holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.

Notes and Resources:

SBIR • STTR Grant Programs

This video explains NSF current grant programs

Diane Hickey’s Funding Area:
Have an idea you want to pitch? Start the process at 
Find live NSF webinars being held where you can learn more at 
Love Growth Mindset research.... Grit by Angela Duckworth is a top-tier read



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