Cornell Engineering offering grants to scale up research

Cornell Engineering is encouraging students, postdocs and faculty to apply for funding to scale up a technology or prototype a product based on research. Proposals for the next round of funding are due by Tuesday, Oct. 1st, 2019.

The College is offering up to $40,000 to engineers looking to advance their research toward establishing a proof-of-concept or functioning prototype, securing an industrial partner and funding for continued research, or licensing a technology to a startup or established company.

More information is below.

For additional information or to submit a proposal, please email with the subject line “Funding for Scale-up and Prototyping 2019.”



To promote the scale-up and prototyping of innovative technologies with emphasis on:

1.       De-risking technology

2.       Licensing the technology to an established company

3.       Engaging industrial partners for ongoing technical or economic collaboration

4.       Pursuing additional grant funding for subsequent scale-up or product development

5.       Establishing or enhancing a business case for attracting outside investment funds toward the formation of a private company


  • Designed to support innovative research activities such as those aimed at establishing proof-of-concept, creating a functioning prototype, scaling-up a technology or process, and generating (or strengthening) intellectual property
  • If feasible, projects may be structured such that a small portion of the budgeted activities may be outsourced to an external organization such as a CRO


  • Students, Post Docs, and Faculty
  • All work must be performed by persons at the Ithaca campus
  • No more than one proposal/project at any given time


  • Awards, each of up to $40K will be funded in a six to nine month funding cycle
  • Finalists will be expected to present a budget to the advisory committee for review
  • Past awards (three to four per year) have ranged from $20K to $40K


·         6-9 months


·      Budget items will not include salary or capital equipment

·      A final report presentation (18 slides max) will be due within thirty (30) days of completion of the project to share your progress and outcomes

·      In addition to the final report, award recipients may be asked to update the Scientific Advisory Committee (see Project Criteria and Assessment below) on progress during scheduled meetings via a short PowerPoint presentation

·      Intellectual property including patents and copyrights developed in the course of performing the project, will be governed by Cornell policies


·      All submissions must be in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat format, in a font no smaller than Arial or Calibri 10. Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to The subject line should read “Funding for Scale-up and Prototyping 2019.”

·      An advisor letter of support must be included in the proposal submission


  • Two-page proposals with detailed budgets are due on Tuesday October 1st, 2019
  • The proposal should include information about the technology, target customers, value proposition and a statement of the planned uses of the funding (i.e. what technical milestones the spending will advance)
  • Proposals will be subject to a preliminary review process and a subset of applicants (finalists) will be asked to participate in a meeting with the Scientific Advisory Committee on Monday, November 18th, 2019.
  • Awards will be announced by Wednesday, December 4th, 2019.


·      Projects will be selected by a Scientific Advisory Committee comprising entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry leaders

·      The selection criteria will be based on the following, all of which should be addressed in the preproposal:

1.       Nature of technology/product

2.       Market need and opportunity

3.       Potential impact and significance

4.       Competitive advantage over technologies or products currently available

5.       Technological viability, innovation and novelty

6.       Potential for generating or strengthening intellectual property

7.       Significant de-risking of the technology, not possible with current funding

8.       Potential interest from industry partners

9.       Probability of achieving project objectives with the allotted funding

·      In exchange for these funds, the committee requests regular updates as the plan is executed as well as a status report one to two years post funding.


Request for Proposals issued – August 19th, 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals – October 1st, 2019

Finalists announced – on or before October 26th, 2019

Finalists meet with Scientific Advisory Committee – November 18th, 2019

Awards announced – December 4th, 2019

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