LAUNCH’s Proof-of-Concept Program seeks proposals, seeds larger opportunities
“Providing Virginia Tech researchers early-stage commercialization funding and related innovation support services helps to validate technology, market applications, and attract future funding from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations," said Mark Mondry who leads LAUNCH.
The Innovation and Partnership’s LAUNCH team in collaboration with Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties (VTIP) is seeking proposals from Virginia Tech researchers for Proof-of-Concept grants designed to provide paths to market for research and technologies with the potential for significant societal and economic impact.
Researchers interested in submitting should review the following timeline:
- Application submission open: Dec. 12
- Deadline for submission: Jan. 30
- Anticipated awards announcement date: March 1
Established in June 2020, the Proof-of-Concept Program, a collaboration between LAUNCH, The Center for New Ventures, and VTIP, has provided over half a million in non-dilutive grant funding and early stage commercialization resources to our Virginia Tech research community. Designed to advance early stage technologies from research into the commercialization process, the program provides support for business incubation activities and professional recognition to the researchers involved.
“The Proof-of-Concept Program has been a springboard for much larger grant and research opportunities,” said Mark Mondry who leads LAUNCH. “Providing Virginia Tech researchers early stage commercialization funding and related innovation support services, helps to validate technology, market applications, and attract future funding from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations.”
Selected projects showcase innovation and technology work to accelerate technologies captured in the VTIP invention disclosure process and identified as possible licensing candidates to established companies or new technology startups.
In its inaugural year, projects that received funding included optimizing a fog harp design to take concrete steps toward mass production and commercialization, a prototyping a Raman spectroscopy-based technology for identification of spectral biomarker patterns in urine specimens needed for deployment in hospital and clinical laboratory settings, and optimizing exoskeletons to aid the workforce. The following year, research projects awarded funding included antimicrobial coating, new therapeutics to prevent malaria resurgence, and topology and toolpath optimization via multi-axis material extrusion additive manufacturing.
Additionally, researchers who are interested in learning more about the grant application process should sign-up for the LAUNCH listserv and be the first to be notified of updates and approaching proposal submission deadlines.
The VTIP office helps partner companies increase talent and research capabilities, commercialize ideas and discoveries, and create cycles of growth and opportunity to serve the Virginia Tech community, commonwealth and beyond. Composed of three centers, LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH, the team is focused on "Turning What-if into What’s Next."
Together, LICENSE and LAUNCH resources, housed within the Office of Research and Innovation, and VTIP combine to help increase the value of new technologies emerging from the Virginia Tech research enterprise and propel them into the innovation economy where they can have a positive impact on society.