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Grants for Technology Product Development

Grants to Maryland Businesses to Partner with Universities
for Product Research and Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) - Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Program

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Grants starting at $5,000 to Maryland businesses to research and develop industrial processes and products through partnerships with universities. Projects will be initiated by the applicant company and matching funds will be provided to pay for the university research.

Companies look to Maryland’s public universities for help in solving critical problems in developing new products, while the universities are expected to contribute to economic development and job creation. MIPS projects are not basic research, but rather are translational work that leads to new or improved products. These are products of any Maryland company willing to create jobs, including but not in any way limited to, products based on the universities’ intellectual property.

MIPS provides funding, matched by participating companies, for university-based research projects that help the companies develop new products. The program is administered at the flagship campus at the University of Maryland, College Park, and works throughout the 12 member institutions of the University System of Maryland, plus Morgan State University and St. Mary’s College. In these academic-industrial, public-private partnerships, MIPS connects the resources of the Maryland public universities to businesses from all parts of Maryland.

With MIPS matching funds, companies can leverage the facilities, resources and expertise within Maryland’s public universities to create new products and opportunities. In the 27 years since the program started, 411 faculty researchers have worked with more than 541 Maryland companies to help develop new products. MIPS-supported products have enabled Maryland companies to directly create more than 6,600 new, high-paying, long-term, high-tech jobs throughout the state.

Through MIPS, Maryland firms have the opportunity to leverage their research and development funds and gain access to the creative talents and extensive research base of the University System of Maryland.

Types of Projects:

Research and Development: Research may be in the broad areas of engineering, computer science, physical sciences and life sciences.

Education and Training: Projects may also help a company plan and develop industrial training programs for its employees.

Benefits of the MIPS Program:

The potential benefits of MIPS projects to the state, to its companies, and to the university are many.

Benefits to Maryland Companies:

-Cost-effective research with world-class university faculty
-Access to university students, state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories and equipment
-Companies can select research capabilities to meet specific requirements
-Non-dilutive, non-debt funding for research
-Opportunity to work directly with talented students—potential future hires
-Rapid proposal evaluations—MIPS notifies award winners within 60 days of the proposal deadline
-Student participants are potential future employees
-Makes companies more competitive, domestically and internationally

Benefits to Faculty:

-Research translates directly to new product development
-Potential for published papers and improved university facilities
-Students gain valuable experience working on commercial technologies

Benefits to the State of Maryland:

-Self-funding economic development program
-Helps create and retain jobs
-Helps to diversify and strengthen the state’s economy
-Helps to improve the state's business climate and to enhance its reputation
-Makes a more attractive environment to firms considering relocation to Maryland

Benefits to University System of Maryland:

-Provides faculty with the opportunity to perform commercially relevant research leading to new products and processes
-Helps to improve university research facilities
-Improves university academic programs to meet industry needs
-Students gain experience in industrial environments

Selection Process & Criteria:

Each proposal is subjected to a thorough review. First, it is screened by a MIPS staff member. If information is incomplete or unclear, the staff member may work with the company to solve the problem. Second, a small group of technical experts in the subject area rates the proposed project on its technical merits. Third, a small group of business experts evaluates the business, cost, and economic development aspects of the proposed project. Finally, an Evaluation Board recommends projects for MIPS matching funds.

The most important criteria for selection are: technical feasibility and economic development factors. The proposed project first undergoes scrutiny with respect to the likelihood of success from a technical viewpoint. At the same time, the project must have the potential to create or help retain jobs in Maryland, to improve the company's competitive position or to help the state's economy in some other way. Thus, each proposing company must discuss in the proposal its plans for commercializing the research results and the extent to which commercialization is expected to affect its business.

Additional considerations are given to companies which exceed their required minimum contribution, especially if it is in the form of cash. Donated equipment is considered more favorably than other in-kind contributions.

Other factors which are considered in the selection process are: level of commitment by the company, contribution to the goals of the university, affiliation with the university based incubators, association of company founders with the university, and any enhancements to university/industry interaction, such as personnel exchanges and student internships. Other factors such as equitable geographic, industry, business-Size, and campus distributions may be considered in the evaluation. In the case of a start-up company, the summary business plan is subjected to careful scrutiny.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181452

Estimated Size of Grant:

MIPS awards are limited to $100,000 per project per year for large, medium and small companies and $90,000 for start-up firms. The minimum is $5,000 per project per year. University overhead, as well as company overhead, are included in the matching-fund computations. Each institution of the University System of Maryland has its own overhead structure.

Term of Contract:

Both one-year (one-phase) projects and two-year (two-phase) projects are eligible for MIPS funding.

If a two-phase project is selected, it is funded for the first year. Its status is reviewed by MIPS near the end of the year, and if satisfactory, a proposal for year two is requested.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are made to small, medium, and large companies, as well as start-up firms.

Definition of a Start-up Firm:

General guidelines for start-up company qualifications are as follows:
-A new company in product development mode;
-No public stock offering;
-Annual sales do not exceed $2,000,000;
-A minimum of one full-time employee and no more than 20.

The minimum requirements for industry matching funds are dependent upon the company size and type.

Size categories for MIPS matching determination are established as follows:
-Large firm: more than 1,000 full-time employees
-Medium firm: 100 to 1,000 full-time employees
-Small firm: fewer than 100 full-time employees
-Start-up firm: see definition above

Pre-Application Information:

How to Apply:

- Fill out an MIPS interest form
- Talk to an MIPS representative
- Find a faculty investigator
- Apply jointly (MIPS can help)

It is strongly suggested that you meet with a member of the MIPS staff before writing your proposal, even if you are familiar with the MIPS program. A staff member can advise you on planning a proposal and assist you with submitting the application. A preliminary review could be invaluable; for example, some applicants fail to include readily available information that might make the difference in qualifying for an award.

MIPS personnel and other professionals in the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) can assist companies in finding and selecting appropriate faculty researchers for the companies' projects.

Below is the latest schedule of events and deadlines pertaining to MIPS funding rounds.

- MIPStrack accounts available: September 4, 2018
- Proposals due at MIPS office: October 15, 2018
- Evaluation Board selections: December 13, 2018
- Executed agreements returned by companies to MIPS: January 18, 2019
- Project commencement: February 1, 2019

Matching Requirements:

Cash: Matching requirements are based on the University Budget for the project. Both MIPS and the company contribute cash, the total of which equals the University Budget.

In-Kind: Companies are required to make an in-kind contribution in addition to their cash contribution. An in-kind contribution is the company's budget for its work on the project. This includes salaries and wages, materials and equipment, travel and other company expenses budgeted for the project.

Large Firms: Company cash contribution is at least 50% of the University Budget. Company's in-kind requirement is at least equivalent to 25% of the University Budget.

Medium Firms: Company cash contribution is at least 50% of the University Budget. Company’s in-kind requirement is at least equivalent to 25% of the University Budget.

Small Firms: Company cash contribution is at least 20% of the University Budget. Company's in-kind requirement is at least equivalent to 30% of the University Budget.

Start-up Firms: Company cash contribution is at least 10% of the University Budget. Company's in-kind requirement is at least equivalent to 35% of the University Budget.

Equipment Gift: If the company donates equipment to the University that is needed for the project, the required equipment is to be valued according to "DESCRIPTION AND ESTIMATED VALUE OF EQUIPMENT GIFT" in the Application Form.

Equipment Loan: If the company lends equipment to the University, the value of the loan for the applicable period may be determined by fair rental value or by depreciation for the period of the loan.



Full Application Details:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Faculty Statement of Interest form:

Company Statement of Interest form:

Jeanne Pekny
(301) 405-3891

Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) Program
387 Technology Drive
3119 Technology Advancement Program (TAP) Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-3371

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland