Technology Development Fund

Western Michigan University 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 closer to being licensed by a corporation, or that may be ready for private investment as part of a start up company. Commercial-ready technologies often require a working prototype, or a more developed prototype that has been validated for a greater number of conditions or difference 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:

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

This 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.

2021 Awardees

NameProject TitleFunded
Gomez, PabloDevelopment of Transmission Line Fault Location Technology for Electric Power Systems$25,000
Sawalha, LinaOptimization of Hybrid 3D Metal Printer Process Using Machine Learning$25,000

See a list of past award recipients.


  • No license or option to the IP has been granted at time of proposal submission.
  • Only one application is allowed per applicant.
  • All applications shall be written for comprehension by a general audience.
  • If the application is related to a previously awarded Technology Development Fund, the current application must justify additional/new funding. 
  • Technology Development funding may be used to match other grant awards that are aligned with the proposed technology commercialization.
  • Technology Development funding may not be used for customer discovery.
  • Customer and/or market analysis is required to justify the proposed R&D.

  • Internet links are strongly discouraged and should not be used to circumvent word count.  Answers should be fully contained in text not in online links.

  • Letters of support for partnerships for development and/or licensing of the technology are encouraged (company or startup). 


ORI Intellectual Property