IEEE New Initiatives Program is Looking for Bright Ideas

IEEE New Initiatives Program is Looking for Bright Ideas

The IEEE New Initiatives Program helps bring great ideas to light. The program supports potential new IEEE initiatives, services or products that will provide significant benefit to members, the public, the technical community, or customers, and which could have lasting impact on IEEE or its business processes. IEEE members, volunteers and IEEE Organizational Units (OUs) are encouraged to submit their ideas for consideration. The program strongly encourages IEEE OUs to cooperate on submissions.

Two types of funding are available:

  • A Seed Grant to fund early-stage, innovative or pilot projects that require US$40,000 or less, and take 12 months or fewer to complete.
  • New Initiatives funding for large-scale projects that are in line with IEEE’s strategic direction, support the vision and mission of IEEE, and require significant funding. These projects typically require funding of US$100,000 or more, for up to three 12-month periods.

New Initiatives Program Funded Initiatives

In the twenty years since its establishment, the New Initiative Program has funded more than 100 proposals. Let’s take a look at some of the more recent projects that came out of the New Initiative Program pipeline.

IEEE Learning Network – The IEEE Learning Network (ILN) is an easy-to-use portal and learning management system that offers members and the public one place where they can find online continuing professional courses in engineering, technology, career development, and more, that are offered from across IEEE. ILN currently offers more than 1,000 courses on cutting-edge technologies, such as 5G Networks, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Edge Computing. Learners can easily search for specific topics or technologies, keep track of progress in each course, and print certificates upon successful completion of course assessments. Many courses also offer professional development hours (PDHs) and continuing education units (CEUs). Learners can subscribe to weekly emails featuring the latest courses and free resources by visiting the IEEE Learning Network at iln.ieee.org. The New Initiatives Program first sponsored the ILN in 2019. The ILN is now self-supporting.

Robots Guide – Created to be the world’s best interactive guide to robots and robotics, the Robots Guide has continued to grow its audience of roboticists, hobbyists, students, and schools, and has attracted a massive number of worldwide users, won multiple awards, and has become a top result in Google searches for robot-related topics. The site is helping IEEE not only to disseminate technical content, but also strengthen its leadership role in educating and exciting people about the possibilities of robotics. Please visit the guide at robots.ieee.org. The New Initiatives Program funded the Robots Guide through a Seed Grant in 2018.

IEEE Spectrum: Print, Web, and Mobile Redesign – For decades, IEEE Spectrum has been publishing the very best technology journalism on the planet. Now, a complete rebuild of the Spectrum website means that readers will be able to find the stories that matter to them faster than ever before, in more ways than ever before, and with better infographics and interactives. Spectrum‘s editors and writers will have new tools at their disposal to provide their award-winning, authoritative coverage of the hottest — and knottiest — areas of emerging technologies. Free registration will unlock even more benefits for non-member readers, including digital Spectrum Collections, which will get readers up to speed on our coverage of selected topics, as well as bonus content just for registrants and IEEE members. IEEE members will find the redesigned site a great new addition to their member benefits, including giving them the ability to access 20 years of Spectrum‘s print archives, post comments without waiting for pre-moderation, and create personalized feeds on specific topics. Get the edge on understanding tomorrow’s world and visit IEEE Spectrum‘s new site at spectrum.ieee.org — coming to you on 1 July. The IEEE Spectrum redesign is an ongoing New Initiatives funded program.

IEEE MOVE International (MOVE = Mobile Outreach VEhicle): IEEE MOVE International is a global expansion of IEEE-USA’s MOVE program, which currently offers mobile emergency support designed to assist victims of natural disasters with short-term communications, global digital access, and power solutions. IEEE-USA MOVE is celebrating its fifth year of deployment and is expanding to cover India and the Caribbean, areas which are regularly affected by severe storms. A volunteer network is established in Puerto Rico, and initial efforts are underway to do likewise in India. When not deployed, the IEEE-USA MOVE vehicle visits schools, fairs and other venues to educate the public, showcase leading technologies, and to raise awareness about the social impact these technologies have on society, through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and outreach. Relief services and STEM outreach are completely provided by IEEE volunteers and the program is funded entirely by donations. Volunteers interested in joining the MOVE International program are encouraged to contact Mary Ellen Randall at merandall@ieee.org. The New Initiatives Program approved funding for IEEE MOVE International in 2021.

Submit Your Ideas Today

The New Initiatives Program is overseen by the IEEE New Initiatives Committee (NIC), an IEEE volunteer committee. The committee is proud of the projects they have sponsored and hope they inspire you to submit a proposal for funding your bright idea. NIC is especially interested in programs in the following areas:

  • Increasing IEEE’s connection to industry
  • Engaging and recruiting members
  • Creating innovative educational opportunities
  • Increasing the visibility of IEEE and demonstrating its relevance to different communities

Please visit the New Initiatives Program webpage at ieee.org/about/corporate/initiatives/ to learn more which type of funding to apply for, how the submission and approval process works, and much more. The program has a rolling submission process, so there are no deadlines. Submit your idea today!


Lesleigh Campanale is senior manager, IEEE Corporate Strategy.


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