1. Who is eligible for the TDF Awards?

All University of Rochester employees, faculty, and students can apply for a TDF Award as long as they have an invention disclosure on file with UR Ventures.

2. In what fields will awards be provided?

There is no limitation on the invention’s field in order to apply for a TDF Award. However, the purpose of the award is to help develop a technology to a commercial endpoint.

3. When are proposals due?

There are two funding cycles beginning in early April and September. Pre-proposals are due by 5pm on the announced deadline via e-mail to the Technology Development Fund Manager or online using the pre-proposal template provided. Within two weeks, several applicants will be selected to submit full proposals for the Screening Committee to review.

4. How do I submit a proposal?

Pre-proposals and full proposals are required to be submitted by e-mail using the proposal templates.

5. What is the level of funding available and for how long?

Awards will typically be in the range of $40,000 to $100,000, with the objective to reach a significant valuation milestone within a year’s time.

6. Where can I obtain help in drafting the market assessment portions of the proposals?

Since the full proposal must include a short market assessment to ensure the technology addresses; (i) a significant market opportunity, (ii) an unmet market need, and (iii) the competitive environment, the applicant is encouraged to contact the UR Ventures licensing manager assigned to the invention disclosure case. If the project is awarded funding, “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 reviewed in real time.

7. How long does the application process take?

Within two weeks of submitting a pre-proposal application, a select number of applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal application. After approximately 4 – 6 weeks, full proposal applicants will present in front of the Screening Committee. By late December and June awards will be announced.

8. Will I be informed of why my pre- and/or full proposals were not considered for the program?

Yes, all proposals returned to applicants that were not chosen for further evaluation or funding will be returned with not only the reason why it was not considered, but also with recommendations on what might be required for future consideration.

9. What is the applicant’s commitment once an award is obtained?

Time and Effort: The applicant is responsible for the plan and will commit his/her time and effort, as appropriate, to lead and oversee the project.
Project Plan: Any significant mid-course revisions to the research plan must be submit ted to the fund manager and will require approval by the Screening Committee.
Reporting: The project leader must provide regular reports on the plan’s progress to the fund manager.

10. Can award funding be taken away during the project’s term?

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.

11. Can I apply for more than one award?

Only a single award will be made available per technology/invention disclosure but you may apply for more than one award at a time.

12. I have an SBIR grant sponsored by a company, but we require additional funds to move the program further towards commercialization. Are we eligible to apply for Technology Development Funding?

If the SBIR or any related agreement involves language that gives the for-profit sponsor a first look, an option to a license, or if a license already exists, then you are NOT eligible. If the Sponsor has no rights to the existing or program generated intellectual property, then you can apply.

13. This seems like such a worthwhile project! How can I contribute to the TDF and help more great research get to the public?

Great question! Please click on the button, below to make your donation to the TDF.