BHEF Awarded $1 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation to Pioneer Affordable Reskilling Pathways

BHEF to Create Replicable Model for Collaborations Between Businesses and Higher Education  

WASHINGTON, DC (September 20, 2019) – The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), in partnership with Business Roundtable and the Greater Washington Partnership’s Capital CoLAB, has received a nine month, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create partnerships that will lead to an increase in reskilling and upskilling pathways for STEM professionals. The grant, which was awarded by the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator project, will focus on increasing employees’ digital skills. A nine-month planning grant, it positions BHEF to pitch for up to $5 million in implementation funding in 2020.  

NSF’s Convergence Accelerator project is a new capability within NSF to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance via partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders. The C- Accel effort provides a home for this research and advances ideas from concept to deliverables. The application process for the project was invitation only in order to focus efforts on a select group that has the greatest potential to realize results. 

“We are honored that the National Science Foundation has awarded BHEF this grant which we expect will lead to the creation of a replicable model for collaborations to support digital technology upskilling and reskilling pathways and address the evolving nature of the STEM workforce’s digital technology needs,” said BHEF CEO Brian Fitzgerald. “The key to the success of this project is collaborating with organizations that share our dedication and vision. By partnering with the Greater Washington Partnership and the Business Roundtable, two like-minded organizations, we are confident in the success of the project.” 

The grant was awarded based on BHEF’s proven expertise bringing business, higher education, nonprofits, and government entities together to form partnerships. By building off of the September 2018 Reskilling Workshop held in conjunction with NSF, BHEF will focus on creating a model that explores how intermediaries can bridge the gap between multiple employers and institutions of higher education to deliver upskilling and reskilling at scale.

“The Greater Washington Partnership has been successful in understanding the rapidly evolving digital talent needs of the STEM workforce,” said Greater Washington Partnerships’s Capital CoLAB Inaugural Chair Wes Bush. “With the support of the NSF’s grant, and working in partnership with BHEF and Business Roundtable, we aim to provide businesses, higher education institutions and STEM professionals with impactful, affordable pathways to reskilling and upskilling.” 

About the Business-Higher Education Forum 
The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) is a private, non-profit membership organization of leading C-Suite business executives and university presidents who employ the latest market intelligence to inform strategic partnerships that create innovative talent solutions in high-demand emerging fields. Members provide leadership by encouraging their peers to act on critical talent needs. For more information about BHEF, visit