The technologies that improve lives, solve problems, and enhance learning and performance stem from high-risk, fundamental research in science and engineering. Research funded by the federal government through NSF has underpinned many leading U.S. developments such as the Internet, Doppler radar, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, DNA fingerprinting, and bar codes-to name a few. In today's global enterprise, however, ideas can be generated anywhere. They travel quickly, vastly increasing the competition and accelerating the research and development timeframe. Partnerships among government, public and private sectors can help to speed U.S. innovations from concept to laboratory to regional, national and global application. The Highlights below are examples of NSF funded projects that have made a difference.