The Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico NSF EPSCoR-‐funded programs have formed a consortium of EPSCoR states with similar research agendas related to climate change and water resources, and cyberinfrastructure. The Western Tri-‐State Consortium significantly increases opportunities for scientific collaboration and enhances each state’s ability to secure competitive funding and tackle complex climate change research and cyberinfrastructure agendas. In keeping with the Consortium mission, Innovation Working Group (IWG) funds are being made available to support collaborative, trans-‐disciplinary work by the three member states. The Western Tri-‐State Consortium IWG program is managed by a three-‐state team of Project Directors and EPSCoR staff.
IWGs provide a venue for engaging scientists and educators, along with key nationally and internationally recognized experts, to address the grand challenges that can transform science and education. This program supports working group activities that are modeled after those hosted by the highly successful NSF-‐supported National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS). Direct involvement in an EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII)-‐funded project is NOT a prerequisite for participation in this program. A strategic final objective of the IWGs is the submission of proposals that target NSF cross-‐cutting programs and/or the publication of synthesis papers in peer reviewed journals.