Any faculty member, post doctoral fellow, graduate student or other employee of the University of Rochester can apply for funding provided they have submitted an Invention Disclosure to the Office of Technology Transfer. Applications for technologies from all fields of science, medicine, dentistry, nursing, business, education, music and engineering will be accepted.
There are two funding cycles each year with applications due the first part of April and September. Specific deadlines will be announced. The first step is a Pre-Proposal submission which is evaluated by the Technology Development Fund Screening Committee. Within two weeks, the Screening Committee chooses a subset of the applications for a Full Proposal submission and an Oral Presentation which are due and scheduled approximately 2 and 4weeks, respectively, after notification for submission. After oral presentations, the Screening Committee identifies those projects deemed best to satisfy the commercialization Criteria for Review and, with the Executive Committee, grants the awards. Best efforts will be made to announce awards by the end of June and December.
Since the goal of the Technology Development Fund is advancing the University's academic research towards commercialization. Any proposals where the technology is (i) licensed/optioned, (ii) developed by, (iii) sponsored by, or (iv) affiliated with a for-profit entity will NOT be considered for funding.
The first step is a pre-proposal, which is due to the Screening Committee via e-mail by the announced deadline in early October and April. The document is required to be in Microsoft Word, using the Pre-Proposal Template.
Pre-proposals should be no longer than two pages, plus references and include:
The Screening Committee identifies those projects deemed best to satisfy the criteria outlined in the review process below, resulting in invitations to submit Full Proposals. This stage of the process requires approximately two weeks. Preliminary proposals not chosen are returned to applicants with a brief explanation of why they were declined.
Deadlines for receipt of Full Proposals is about four weeks from the date of approval of the Pre- Proposal. These must also be submitted to the Screening Committee by e-mail in Word format only, using the Full Proposal Template. During this period, applicants can avail themselves of assistance from the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), High Tech Rochester (HTR), the Simon School, and the Hajim School, along with other resources for help with written proposals and supporting presentations. It is up to the applicant to solicit help from these sources. Oral presentations for the Screening Committee are scheduled within 2 to 4 weeks of submission and should address the proposal, objectives, and evaluation of market potential. Each individual or team has 10 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for discussion. Presentation time will be strictly enforced and candidate will be stopped at 10 minutes, so please prepare your presentation accordingly. A presentation format will be provided. Coaches and mentors may participate.
Since the projects funded will be uniquely focused on commercial endpoints, the Screening Committee will rely extensively on the external input from the commercial sector, entrepreneurs, members of angel networks, and the venture community for evaluating proposals. The Committee also will provide feedback to individual applicants and encourage resubmission of those projects just falling short of funding selection.
Understanding that funding awards of $40,000 to $100,000 might not add significantly to a therapeutic or vaccine program, these projects will be selected with a specific set of criteria. They will emphasize the completion of milestones that lead to another funding event and the plan how this proposal fits into a well thought out commercialization plan.
Note: Since the goal of the Technology Development Fund is advancing the University's academic research towards commercialization, any proposals where the technology is (i) licensed/optioned, (ii) developed by, (iii) sponsored by, or (iv) affiliated with a for-profit entity will NOT be considered for funding.
Financial awards are announced approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the submission of Preliminary Proposals, and funding is arranged via the appropriate departments processes. The applicant is responsible for the plan and must commits sufficient time and effort to lead and oversee the project.
The Office of Technology Transfer will be available to assist in developing the funded programs and to volunteer along with coaches and mentors who have relevant expertise. These volunteers will also act as an informal advisory group to help ensure that all aspects of the plan are continuously reviewed and milestones achieved. Any significant mid-course revisions to the research plan must be submitted to the Technology Development Fund Manager (Michael Rusnak) and will require approval by the Screening Committee.
The Screening Committee oversees all aspects of the program with constant communication with the Executive Committee and UR Technology Transfer Policy Committee providing regular updates and progress reports.
Time and Effort: The applicant (Project Leader) is responsible for the plan and will commit his/her time and effort, as appropriate, to lead and oversee the project.
The Office of Technology Transfer and “Coaches” (volunteers from the Screening Committee, Simon School, High Tech Rochester, and Entrepreneurial “Friends” of UR), will be available to work with the funded programs and act as an informal advisory group to ensure that all aspects of the plan are continuously reviewed and attention to milestones are kept at the forefront.
Project Plan: The Project Plan is submitted by the Project Leader and approved by the Screening Committee before any work is initiated. Any significant mid-course revisions to the research plan must be submitted to the Fund Manager and will require approval by Screening Committee.
Implementation and Reporting: The project leader must provide quarterly reports on progress to the Fund Manager and Executive Committee. Continued funding will be contingent on achievement of milestones, which are key decision points for the assessment of progress. The project may be terminated if significant technical milestones are not met.
Milestones: The achievement of agreed upon milestones will serve as key decision points for the assessment of progress and the determination of continued funding. A project may be terminated if significant technical milestones have not been met.
Funding Status: If a funded project secures investment from a source outside the University during the funding period, this must be reported to the Fund Manager. Reallocation to other aspects of the project may be permitted as appropriate. The Executive Committee reserves the right to recover funds that are no longer necessary to cover expenses outlined in the original proposal.
To be considered a success a funded program should be commercialized via licensing or be a candidate for a potential start-up. If consideration of a start-up enterprise is warranted, the founding members of the new venture will seek next-stage funding from traditional funding sources such as "angel investors," venture capital firms, etc. with help from the OTT.
Since the projects funded will be uniquely focused on commercial endpoints, the Screening Committee will rely extensively on the external input from the commercial sector, entrepreneurs, members of angel networks, and the venture community for evaluating proposals. The Committee also will provide feedback to individual applicants and help manage the Fund's direction.
Royalty Sharing: In order to ensure that the Fund is evergreen, projects will be required to share revenue on intellectual property utilized and created with the grant. Twenty-five percent (25%) of all revenues, net of patent and legal fees, received by the University from the licensing of the technology will be paid into the Fund until three times the amount of the grant has been repaid. This payment will be considered as an out-of-pocket cost of the Intellectual Property and will be applied against the incoming revenues in the same manner as are patent and legal fees under current University Policy.