For the fourth consecutive year, USC Stevens Center for Innovation has awarded Technology Advancement Grants (TAG) to University of Southern California researchers.

This year’s TAG awards total $150,000 and will fund three projects across a diverse range of fields at three USC schools: Keck School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and Viterbi School of Engineering.

The annual Technology Advancement Grants, or TAG, were launched by the Stevens Center in 2016. The TAG program supports early-stage technologies invented at USC through validation or proof-of-concept development. TAG grants help to add value to unlicensed USC-owned technology, thereby increasing the probability of licensing and supporting the commercialization of discoveries created at USC. TAG awards provide funding up to $50,000 for a project duration of no more than one year. USC researchers apply for the grant starting in December, with awardees determined by June of the following year.

Please join us in congratulating the following 2020 TAG award recipients:

Hosung Kim

Professor Hosung Kim
, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Neurology
Project Title: “Deep Learning Based Portable Diagnostic System for Sleep Apnea Syndrome Detection”





Jayakanth Ravichandran
Professor Jayakanth Ravichandran, Viterbi School of Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Professor Han Wang (not pictured), Viterbi School of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Project Title: “Polarization and Color Sensitive Infrared Detectors”




Yong (Tiger) Zhang

Professor Yong (Tiger) Zhang, 
School of Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Project Title: “Novel Site-Specific Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Targeted Therapy”





The TAG program has a competitive two-step application process comprising an initial review by Stevens Center staff and its Faculty Advisory Committee, followed by a final review and recommendation from an external advisory board of industry experts comprised of representatives from 5AM VenturesAlexandria Real Estate EquitiesBCG Digital VenturesKairos VenturesNixon Peabody LLP,  Salem Partners LLC, and Snell & Wilmer. The USC Office of Research provided additional support.

TAG applications submitted this cycle were very competitive and reflected the diversity of innovation at USC. An initial field of 31 letters of intent was narrowed to 10 finalists who were invited to submit full proposals. The top eight finalists were then invited to present their projects to a panel of venture capitalists and business leaders. Of those eight, three proposals were chosen to receive funding.

The Request for Proposals for the next round of the TAG program will be announced in late 2020.