Wayne State University

Technology Development Incubator (TDI) Request for Proposals Announced

TDI Program Overview

WSU seeks to provide a comprehensive solution to the cultural, technological and financial challenges associated with the translation of innovative early stage technologies from academia to the marketplace.  The TDI program provides the infrastructure to accelerate the feasibility studies necessary for licensing, industry partnerships and start-up opportunities.

The objective of the Incubator program is to provide qualified technologies with the support necessary to undertake prototype development, proof of concept and validation studies.  The award of such funding would be based on the market and commercialization opportunities together with a milestone-driven technology development plan with clear no-go decision points.  Funding would be directed not only to internal research but also to the outsourcing of activities (e.g. toxicity & pre-clinical studies, prototyping, etc.).  The goal is to support approximately 5-10 projects per year with an average award of approximately $10,000-$25,000 per project.

Critical to the success of the program is not only the financial support for early validation studies but also access to industry mentors and consultants to provide insights into market opportunities and guidance on technology development and commercialization road maps.

A critical component of the TDI is to leverage the expertise of industry advisors.  WSU has recruited consultants with industry, investment and entrepreneurial experience to review and guide in the funding decisions as well as mentor awarded faculty in defining technology development and commercialization milestones.  

Participating in the TDI

The TDI targets innovative projects with compelling commercial potential and innovators with a strong interest in moving their technology to the marketplace.  Interested faculty are encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) outlining key elements of the technology and its commercial potential.  From these initial applications 15-20 projects/inventors with the greatest market potential will be invited to submit full proposals for inclusion in the external review and funding process. 

Once the final projects are selected, Technology Commercialization staff will work the inventor teams to develop the full proposals that will allow our external reviewers to provide thorough assessments of market potential, development milestones, and commercialization pathways.  Based on these assessments and available resources, 4-5 projects will be selected to receive between $10,000-$25,000 of funding to undertake the next steps determined to be essential to moving the project/technology towards commercialization.

LOI submission

To be considered for inclusion in the TDI review and oversight process, submit a Letter of Intent by November 17th to include a brief description of the technology, current development status, and a statement of technical/market value (see attached template). If the technology has not yet been disclosed to the Technology Commercialization Office, completion of an Invention Disclosure Form will be required prior to submission of a full application.  Click here for the WSU Tech Transfer process/policy and accompanying Invention Disclosure Form.

Successful applicants will be notified by Dec 5th and invited to submit full proposals by Dec 22nd.

For full program details, visit here.