Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization

Request for Proposals for the WMURF Technology Development (TD)Fund

The WMURF has made funds available to help discoveries make the transition from invention to commercialization. The funds from this program are intended to be used to bridge the gap that often exists between research-stage technologies and technologies that are ready to be licensed by a corporation, or which may be ready for private investment as part of a new enterprise. Commercial-ready technologies often require a working prototype, or a more developed prototype that has been validated for a greater number of conditions or different endpoints than earlier versions. These studies can be difficult to do in a university setting because of a lack of adequate funding for these later stages of research and development. Therefore, these funds should be used for projects that will:

    1. Enable a working prototype based on previously disclosed technology.
    2. Enable further testing, refinement, and development of an existing prototype or proof-of-concept.
    3. Scale-up "lab-sized" mass or dimension (chemicals, designs, test-beds, reactors, etc.).
    4. Enable toxicity studies, lead optimization, or similar studies that may be relevant for therapeutics, diagnostics, etc.
    5. Demonstrate proof-of-concept for a commercially relevant application of an existing "platform" technology.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of possible projects, but rather some examples of the types of projects that are likely to be funded.

Proposals will be judged on the following five criteria:

    1. The relevance of the proposed project for the TD Fund, given this fund's specific mandate for "technology development" and commercialization (for example, if the proposal is based on an idea, and no work has been done to validate whether the idea is feasible, it is likely that this may not be the most appropriate funding source).
    2. How well the author(s) has described the specific development problem and how well has he/she demonstrated or explained how this money will specifically address the problem.
    3. Are the proposed milestones and project scope appropriate for the level of funding and timeframe?
    4. Is there a clear market or commercial need for the technology, or is there clear evidence of "market pull"? (Cost share or direct financial support from industry or other sources, or other evidence of collaborations can be an excellent indicator of "market pull").
    5. How likely is it that funding the proposed project will lead to successful commercialization?

Funding (up to $20,000 per project) is available for the current fiscal year. Proposed projects must be based on technology/intellectual property (IP) disclosed to OVPR. Proposals must also reference the OVPR IP case number. Funding is not available for IP that is currently optioned or licensed.

The deadline for submitting proposals for this fiscal year is November 5, 2014. The IP Management & Commercialization Advisory Committee will begin making award decisions soon after the deadline.

Download the Technology Development Fund Application

Send a signed hard-copy of the completed application above to the OVPR office (Suite 210 W Walwood Hall, mail stop 5456) prior to the end of the business day on November 5, 2014.

Office of the Vice President for Research
Western Michigan University
210 W Walwood Hall
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5456 USA
(269) 387-8298 | (269) 387-8276 Fax