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.

Review Criteria

Selection criteria include:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the project
  • Quality of the proposed project as it relates to the potential for commercialization
  • The adequacy of available funding for commercial advancement of the technology
  • Feasibility and risk associated with commercialization
  • Probability of achieving the project goals within the proposed budget and timeline
  • Potential economic impact of the innovation
  • Potential for technology transfer to existing industry or new ventures
  • Clarity of path to commercial viability
  • Significance of market for the proposed product
  • Competitive landscape of the market
  • Probability that the funding will produce results that will lead to external funding
  • Degree of intellectual property protection required for the technology (patent landscape) and issues of timeline, cost, and potential revenue from a commercial application
  • Degree of definition of the project objectives toward commercial objectives
  • Post-project plan
  • Miscellaneous Factors


Since the goal of the Technology Development Fund is to advance the University’s academic research toward commercialization, any proposals featuring technologies that are licensed/optioned, or developed by, sponsored by, or already affiliated with a for-profit entity will NOT be considered for TDF funding.

Note About Therapeutic and Vaccine Projects

Understanding that funding awards of $40,000 to $100,000 might not add significant value to a therapeutic or vaccine program, these projects will be selected with a specific set of criteria. Emphasis will be placed on the completion of agreed-upon milestones that lead to future funding events and how this proposal might fit into a well thought out commercialization plan.