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Translational Investment Fund

The Texas A&M Innovation Translational Investment Fund (TIF) provides investments into the development of disclosed technologies toward commercially relevant ends. Faculty and staff inventors may apply for investments of up to $75,000 to facilitate year-long projects. The number of awards will depend on funding and submission levels. The submission cycle is currently closed. Stay tuned to this webpage for information on future funding rounds.

The goal of this program is to provide an opportunity for inventors across The Texas A&M University System to bridge the common gaps that arise in development of early-stage technologies that have the potential to address a commercial or industrial need and ultimately impact the community, nation, and the world. Translational Investment Fund awards have traditionally been granted annually since Fall 2020.

Submissions are accepted from current A&M employees with a previously filed invention disclosure that has been assigned an invention number, and that is unlicensed at the time of submission. The subject of the project must be a disclosed invention that has at least completed development through proof-of-concept and is backed by the inventor(s) commitment to taking steps toward commercialization. Successful project proposals will clearly demonstrate a market need for the technology, a reasonable development approach, commercial benefit(s), awareness of existing competition, and feasibility of project scope. For complete eligibility and selection criteria, please review the program guidelines below.

Current Submission Cycle Details

2023 – Round 4 Timeline

  • May 15, 2023 – Cycle Opens for Letter of Interest Submissions
  • June 20, 2023 – Letters of Interest Due by 11:59pm CT.
  • Late July/Early August 2023 – Invitations to Submit Full Proposals Sent
  • August 31, 2023 – Full Proposal Submissions Due by 11:59pm CT.
  • October 2023 – Project Performance Period Start

Full Proposal Resources

Program Details

Eligibility

At the time of submission, the following qualifications must be met in order to be eligible for this program:

  • Must be a current employee of The Texas A&M University System or its members
  • Must be a lead or co-inventor on a previously filed invention disclosure of System-owned intellectual property*
  • Invention must be assigned an invention number by Texas A&M Innovation
  • Invention and related IP cannot be released to the inventor(s)
  • Invention must be unlicensed at the time of submission

*Inventions and their related IP that are jointly-owned with another institution, where Texas A&M has entered into an inter-institutional agreement (IIA) or research agreement and is indicated as the lead institution for commercialization, are also considered eligible for this program.

Qualifying Projects

The subject of the project must be a disclosed invention that has at least completed a proof-of-concept stage and is backed by the inventor(s) commitment to taking steps toward commercialization.

Examples of qualifying projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Therapeutic drug lead optimization
  • Creation of prototypes, or prototype development
  • Completion of programming, code development, or development of user interface
  • Acquisition of technology validation data, often for “endpoints” of interest to industry

This program is NOT designed to fund basic research, market analysis, or business plan creation as other resources exist to support these efforts.

Required Submissions

Letter of Interest

Letters of Interest should be submitted to the TIF selection committee via an online form provided in the current Call for Letters of Interest. This brief letter of interest must include the following components in order to be considered.

  • Project Title, Inventor Information, and Assigned Invention Number
  • Summary of Proposed Project, to include:
    • Brief description of the project
    • Market need to be addressed
    • Commercially-relevant goal(s) to be achieved by the end of the project term
    • Brief introduction of researcher and/or team members
    • Estimate of total budget request

Full Proposal (by invitation only)

Following the review of letters of interest, the selection committee will select projects that will then be invited to submit a full proposal for review and evaluation by the committee. Full proposals will include the following elements.

  • Brief abstract
  • Technology background and intellectual property status
  • Proposed product or solution & market need
  • Work plan/scope
  • Collaborators and other sources of support
  • Project team roles and responsibilities
  • Budget template & justifications
  • Letters of collaboration/support
Budget Guidelines

The budget period is for 12 months and budgets may include, but are not limited to:

  • Research support personnel (including graduate students and post-docs)
  • Travel as necessary to perform the research
  • Non-capital equipment
  • Project-specific research supplies

Budgets may NOT include faculty salary support, tuition support, indirect or overhead costs, capital equipment, or supplies considered general research supplies.

A budget template along with additional guidance will be available to those invited to submit a full proposal.

Selection Criteria

The committee will consider the following criteria when reviewing and scoring proposals.

  • Need – Does the proposed project focus on an important unmet customer and market need?
  • Approach – Is there a clear overall strategy, with methods and analyses? Does the proposal describe a unique approach for addressing the customer and market need? Is the approach well-reasoned and suitable to complete proposed specific aims?
  • Benefits – Is the proposed work focused on translation/development of a research finding, rather than further research? Will the specific benefits that would result from the stated approach be significant and measurable? Is scope of work expected to lead to commercialization or will it address a commercial shortcoming/endpoint?
  • Competition – Do the benefits of the proposed project approach convey superiority to its competition and alternatives in the market?
  • Feasibility – Is the project scope of work appropriate for the timeframe and level of funding?
  • Student Engagement, if part of the research team. – How, if at all, does this project engage students? Are there clear learning outcomes to be achieved that will aid in advancing the educational mission of the university?

For questions, please contact:

Ashley Skow
Project Specialist, Texas A&M Innovation
tif@tamus.edu

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