Ohio University

TVSF Application

Ohio University TVSF Program Request for Proposals

Strategic Vision Eligibility Requirements Funding Process Project Management

$400,000 available for technology development and validation.

These awards provide up to $100,000 per project to move promising technologies closer to the market.

The deadline for the current RFP has passed, check back for information on the next round of funding.

Direct questions to the Technology Transfer Office at techtransfer@ohio.edu.

 

Strategic Vision

The vision for the Ohio University (OU) Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund is to provide access to awards that will transition projects from the lab bench to the market. This additional support will facilitate the further development of the technology pipeline and increase high-quality deal flow via licensing to new Ohio start-up companies by improving the risk profile of funded technologies. The OU TVSF Program goals align with those of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF).

Eligibility Requirements

Projects should be based on technology and tech-enabled products and/or services in the following areas:

  • Software/Information Technology
  • Biomedical/Life Sciences
  • Advanced Materials
  • Sensors
  • Energy
  • Advanced Manufacturing

Applications will also be required to meet additional criteria, including:

  1. Project must involve university-owned intellectual property
  2. Technology must be protected by a patent application (minimally, a provisional application) in the priority areas in which patent protection is advisable; exceptions may be allowed at the discretion of the TTO
  3. Technology must be ready for validation/proof-of-concept studies; early stage research will not be considered
  4. Project must be submitted by an OU faculty or staff member; graduate students are eligible with faculty co-PI

If you have any questions about whether your project or technology is eligible, please contact a representative of the Technology Transfer Office.

Funding

Multiple awards will be given each cycle, with funded projects receiving up to $100,000 per award. Applicants are encouraged to request only those funds which are necessary to accomplish the goals specified in their applications. Awardees will be required to match 25% of the requested funding.

Process

Request for Proposals :

TVSF process graphic

A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued through the VPR. Priority will be given to projects with an Innovation Strategy Award and/or I-Corps participants. Applications are available [PDF].

Initial Screening:

An initial technical review will ensure that the application is complete and all requirements are met. This will include: (i) a patent application on file through the TTO, (ii) project milestones that align with a commercial goal, (iii) specific aims that are achievable in a 12-month timeframe, and (iv) a detailed budget with only allowable expenses included. This review will also assess the scientific merit, market need, impact, competitive advantage, team strength and alignment of the proposal with validation activities. Outcomes of previously funded Innovation Strategy Program and I-Corps projects will also be assessed. Applicants that have not participated in the I-Corps program will be encouraged to include industry and/or potential customer input as part of their application. Those applications that meet the above criteria will be forwarded to the Selection Committee for consideration, along with the information/analysis generated by from the initial screening and diligence process.

Selection Committee Review:

The Selection Committee, comprised of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business experts, will review applications using a two-stage process:

Merits

Each proposal will receive a go/no go ranking based on the following criteria: generation of proof to be licensed; project plan/team; 3 rd party review; competitive analysis; reasonable path/time to market, IP protection; likelihood of start-up creation; market opportunity/size; and budget narrative/use of funds.

Based on this assessment, the Selection Committee will then invite the proposals given a go ranking to give an in-person presentation to the Committee.

Presentation

The presentation to the Selection Committee will provide each applicant the opportunity to address the following:

  1. Value Proposition – What existing problem does this technology solve?
  2. Validation – How do the specific aims of the proposal achieve a commercialization-focused result in 12 months?
  3. Market Potential – How will the results of the project improve the market potential of the technology? What barriers to commercialization are lowered or removed because of the project? Is there significant competition from other products already in the market or is this technology new and/or disruptive?
  4. Market Value – How will the results of the project increase the value of the technology? What risks are removed for potential licensees or investors because of this work?

The Selection Committee will score each presentation as a go/no go for funding based on the four criteria above.

Selection of Awardees:

The Selection Committee will conduct a thorough discussion of each project in the context of the go/no go rankings from the merit review and the presentation to determine which projects will be funded each round.

Project Management

Each funded project will be assigned a project manager from the Technology Transfer office to ensure that the specific aims target commercially-focused milestones and end points. The budget will also be reviewed to determine whether it meets the following criteria:

  • All external consultants (individuals or companies, including contract manufacturers) required for the project are identified.
  • Materials and supplies required for the project, along with a price estimate, are itemized.
  • Not more than 25 percent of funds may be salary support for faculty, research staff or students. Funding general research activities is also not permitted.
  • Indirect funding should not be included.

The project manager will meet regularly with each project team to monitor progress towards each milestone in the proposal. The timeframe for these meetings will vary based on the needs of each project. At each meeting, the project team will present its progress to date and discuss the likelihood that milestones will be met in the required timeframe. In addition to regularly monitoring progress, funding will be dispersed in milestone-driven tranches.