The National Science Foundation (NSF) – together with six other government agencies – has announced a program that aims to work with higher education minority serving institutions (MSIs) to boost the study of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

The program – Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI) – looks to fund new and existing programs in the study of AI technologies.

NSF’s Margaret Martonosi – assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the agency – believes the new program will help introduce and expand AI research, education, and work opportunities for many people.

“In close collaboration with our federal partners and with the AI Institutes program, NSF Is launching ExpandAI in order to enable an even broader community of researchers to advance the Nation’s AI capacity in scientific power and workforce,” stated Martonosi.

The program will provide two tracks for institutions to follow. The first track is known as the ExpandAI Capacity Building Pilots (CAP), and will focus on institutions without AI programs currently. The second is the ExpandAI Partnership (PARTNER) track which, which will help MSIs expand on their existing AI programs.

MSIs can received awards ranging from $300,000 to $700,000 depending on which track they choose, among other factors.

The ExpandAI program addresses some of the strategies outlined in the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan 2019 Update published by the White House’s National Science and Technology Council.

“We hope to see a more diverse, more inclusive participation of talented innovators from across our nation, driving AI research and innovation that continues to build our country’s AI leading capabilities and workforce development,” Martonosi said.