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Grants to North Carolina IHEs and Research Institutions for Research to Support the Commercialization of Inventions


Geographic Focus

USA: North Carolina

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Technology Enhancement Grant (TEG)

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Grant Provider's 990

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #162510

Grant Description

Grants of up to $75,000 to North Carolina IHEs and research institutions for research projects and studies that support the university's capacity to license commercially promising inventions. Funding is intended to promote projects initiated for the achievement of a significant technical milestone in the evolution of a technology to a licensable commercial product or service.

The proposed project will incorporate study endpoints associated with key milestones as defined by the potential licensee or industry experienced technology commercialization adviser.

TEG projects may be performed by a local contract research organization (CRO) or conducted in the lab of the scientific PI/inventor.

Funding may be used to engage non-academic contract research providers as needed.

Eligible proposals must:

- Demonstrate that protection of licensable intellectual property (IP) has been initiated (minimally, the filing of a provisional patent application or the preliminary steps towards trade secret or copyright protection)
- Attest that the IP rights are assigned to the applicant’s institution and have not been committed through license, option or letter-of-intent to license to any third party at the time of application
- Demonstrate that a dialog with an independent potential licensee of the technology has been initiated and/or an initial review of the technology and its commercial opportunity has been provided by an independent technology development professional
- Outline a project that is designed to achieve a significant technical milestone that addresses an issue directly cited by a potential licensee as a potential obstacle to licensing

The following holds true for Technology Enhancement Grants:

- Funding supports a project for which IP protection (including a provisional patent application) has been initiated by the university
- The university Tech Transfer Office or related university commercialization partner is the applicant
- Funding covers expenditures that that are necessary for the licensing of the technology to a commercial interest
- Research funds may be directed off-campus (e.g., a local contract research company)

Examples of qualifying projects include:

- Proof-of-concept
- Lead identification or optimization
- Target validation
- Prototype development
- Demonstration of scalability
- Preliminary safety testing
- Field trial

Allowable budget requests:

- Salaries/benefits for personnel who are contributing directly to the technical project. Total salary requested for all key personnel should not exceed 50% of the total budget. If total salary requests account for more than 50% of the budget, thorough justification of the time and personnel required to complete the project must be provided in the Budget Justification section of the proposal.
- Equipment, materials, and supplies (itemize; group supplies into categories no larger than $5,000, if possible)
- Outsourced contract research
- Travel for activities directly associated with the execution of the research project

Need help writing this grant?


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The applicant for a TEG is a member of a university’s technology transfer office (TTO) or is an authorized technology transfer representative for institutions without a formal TTO. A TEG proposal is written by the TTO in response to a nonbinding letter of interest from a potential licensee. The potential licensee will define a set of data required to initiate licensing discussions with the TTO.

Proposals must be submitted by an employee of a North Carolina university or non-profit research institute who (1) works in the institution’s technology transfer office or has licensing authority on behalf of the institution, or (2) supports technology, entrepreneurial or new venture development within the applicant institution.

Neither the inventor/scientific PI nor the TTO representative may have a management or advisory role in, or a financial interest in, any firms subcontracted with under this award. Any potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed in the application.

The inventor / scientific PI may have no more than two active awards from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Funds are not intended to fully support post-docs or graduate students. This program is not intended to be a training grant for post-docs or graduate students.

Basic or exploratory research that is not directly tied to satisfying a meaningful commercial or licensing milestone is not eligible for TEG support.

Unallowable budget requests:
- Salary/benefits for any personnel not directly responsible for executing the technical project.
- Travel expenses for conferences, business meetings, or non-project related activities
- Tuition, stipends, or other student support
- Publication costs
- Patenting costs
- Service contracts
- Indirect/overhead costs/facilities and administrative (F&A) costs
- Secretarial services
- Office supplies

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 (noon)

A preliminary consultation between the TTO representative and NCBiotech program staff is strongly encouraged for the TEG program. Potential applicants will be asked to prepare a brief summary (of less than 2 pages) of their project for preliminary review prior to the consultation.

TEG proposals are submitted using an online application system. The submitting Principal Investigator/Project Lead (TTO representative) must register for an account on the Funding Portal (see link in Contact Information below) at least 5 business days before submission of the proposal.

The TEG application form will be available online after September 4, 2018.



Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum request is $75,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants are intended for a twelve-month project. The projected start date for awardees is no earlier than February 1, 2019, depending on the terms and conditions of the award.

Contact Information:

To register and apply online:

For questions, additional information, or to schedule a consultation, contact:

Deborah De
Senior Director, Grant Process Operations
North Carolina Biotechnology Center
Phone: 919-549-8845

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
15 T.W. Alexander Drive
P.O. Box 13547
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3547
Phone: (919) 541-9366

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