Program & Funding Announcements

USC Stevens Center for Innovation
Technology Advancement Grants (TAG)

Funding of up to $50,000 available. The 2018 Request for Proposals submission period is now OPEN. The application deadline is January 19, 2018. For more information and the application link, read the announcement.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017 USC Stevens Technology Advancement Grants.

LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) DEADLINE: Friday, January 19, 2018
INVITED PROPOSAL DEADLINE
: Monday, March 19, 2018

Purpose:
Technology Advancement Grants (TAGs) support early stage technologies invented at USC through validation or proof-of-concept development. The awards add value to unlicensed USC owned technology, aiming to increase the probability of obtaining a license in the future.

TAGs have a competitive two-step application process comprising an initial review by USC Stevens’ staff and a final review and recommendation by an external advisory board of industry experts. It is anticipated that part of the award may be spent on outside organizations that will work with the principal investigator and USC Stevens to further develop the technology. The external advisory board may recommend that changes be made to the Project Plan in order for the project to be eligible for funding.

Areas of Interest:

  • Technologies invented at USC in any discipline that demonstrate strong potential for commercialization through additional technology advancement investment on the scale of $50,000 or less.
  • TAG prioritizes projects that are not eligible for other USC technology advancement programs, such as the Alfred Mann Institute at USC, Coulter Program, or Ming Hsieh Institute for Research on Engineering-Medicine and Cancer.

Eligibility:
Eligibility is limited to projects that satisfy these criteria:

  • The application must be based on Intellectual Property (IP) developed at USC with the rights assigned to USC.
  • The IP cannot be licensed, optioned, or subject to any third party rights at the time of application (other than government interests via sponsored research).
  • The principal investigator must be a USC employee eligible to serve as principal investigator, other than a term employee or visiting employee.
  • A complete invention disclosure must be on file with the USC Stevens Center for Innovation prior to the submission of the letter of intent.

Types of Assistance:
TAG Awards provide up to $50,000 for a project duration of no more than one year. Permissible expenses include:

  • Prototype development
  • Biological target validation and screening
  • Software optimization
  • Preclinical studies, such as toxicity
  • Other advanced pre-commercial research, including sub-contracts to contract research organizations.

Further Information and Program Contact:
Questions about the TAG award or the application submission process can be directed to: Michael Arciero, Director of Technology Licensing and New Ventures, arciero@usc.edu, (213) 821-0942.


NEW! T1D Exchange 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge
Proposal Deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Purpose: In partnership with lead sponsors JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Diabetes Innovation Challenge will award $50,000 in cash and $100,000 in in-kind contributions for the winning innovations that can improve the lives of 30+ million people living with diabetes (with a particular focus on insulin-dependent diabetes). The challenge is seeking:

  • Automated Insulin Devices and related components including glucose sensing, insulin delivery systems, and cellular therapy delivery technologies
  • Diagnostics such as tests for research and screening; early diagnosis and prevention; autoantibodies, C- peptide, or other markers such as beta cell death and risk of diabetic complications
  • Therapeutics like smart insulins, glucagons, immune-modulating therapies, beta cell regeneration, and treatments for diabetic complications
  • Technology Design/Disease Management. For example, new approaches to using information and communication technologies to support diabetes management

Proposal Submission Process: Register and submit questionnaire and supporting documents via online platform found here: Diabetes Innovation Challenge’s Website.

How to Submit:  Application and further details are available at Diabetes Innovation Challenge’s Website and applicants should contact Mina Zion via email at mzion@usc.edu prior to submission.

Amount of funding:  Award provides $50,000 + $100,000 in in-kind contributions to further relevant research.

For more information, please contact Mina Zion (mzion@usc.edu or 213-821-6068).


NEW! PepsiCo External Innovation Call for Proposals
Proposal Deadline: Friday, December 15, 2017

Purpose: PepsiCo External Innovation program has a call for proposals focused on the following engineering, chemical, and material areas.

  1. Multiphase Gas Separation Technology
  2. Novel Non-Invasive Potato Analysis
  3. Thermally Responsive Material Technology
  4. Next Generation Induction Sealing Technology
  5. Natural Glycerin Alternatives
  6. Novel Protein Sources

Please visit the follow webpage for descriptions of the above areas of interest: http://ninesights.ninesigma.com/web/pepsico-gallery

Number of Applicants: Unlimited numbers of research proposals are permitted. All researchers are invited to apply.

Proposal Submission Process:

  • Submission entails a non-confidential project proposal according to the PepsiCo Response Template. Download the template here: http://stevens.usc.edu/files/2017/10/PepsiCo-Response-Template.docx.
  • The proposal also should not include any patented or patent-pending materials.
  • Under “Proposed Technical Approach/Desired type of collaboration with the client,” please write “Sponsored research contract”

How to Submit:  Please submit your proposal (including the budget) through Kuali Coeus (KC) by Friday, December 15, 2017.

Amount of funding:  Not yet determined.  Please assume an upper limit of $250,000 for the entire project duration, including full overhead.

For more information, please contact Lawrence Lau (laul@usc.edu or 213-821-0947).


USC Stevens Center for Innovation
Start-Up Investment Program

Request for Proposals currently open. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. For full details about the program, please read: USC Stevens Start-Up Investment Program RFP Announcement.

Purpose:
The USC Stevens Center for Innovation aims to maximize the translation of USC research into products for public benefit. One aspect of this mission is to support the translation of research through USC Start-ups. The start-up investment program supports this effort by reducing the hurdle for raising start-up funds to pay past patent costs (patent costs incurred by USC Stevens prior to the date of the license agreement with the USC Start-up). USC Stevens will invest in USC start-ups that demonstrate strong potential for success, as assessed by expert advisors, in exchange for equity interests granted to the university. In addition, the assessment will be used to help determine the best pathway for commercialization, and to advise the faculty inventor on business strategy.

Program:

  • USC will continue to accept an equity interest in start-up companies in lieu of an upfront licensing fee whether the start-up is USC Start-up or not, when requested by the start-up.
  • Companies that qualify as USC Start-ups will have the option of applying for additional investment in the following manner:
    –Upon approval, USC will invest a portion of its patent budget in USC Start-ups that demonstrate promise to succeed as a business.
    –In exchange, USC will receive an additional minority equity stake in the USC Start-up,  providing potential for future income to expand technology transfer in lieu of patent cost reimbursement income that USC would normally receive from a licensee.
    –A decision to invest will be based on a careful assessment of the business plan for the  start-up, including analysis from outside advisors who understand the industry.
  • The USC investment will be complemented by guiding faculty to seek investments from other sources, such as Small Business Innovation Research program, angel investors, venture capital, and other sources to complement USC’s investment.

Further Information and Program Contact:
Questions about the program or the application submission process can be directed to: Michael Arciero, Director of Licensing, arciero@usc.edu, (213) 821-0942.


USC Stevens Center for Innovation
Commercialization Awards

The awards, given annually by the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, recognize the commercialization success of technologies developed by inventors across USC who worked with the USC Stevens Center for Innovation to execute a license for their research or technologies during the previous Fiscal Year. The first awards were given for the 2016 Fiscal Year.

Read our article for more information: http://stevens.usc.edu/1st-annual-usc-stevens-center-for-innovation-commercialization-awards.

 


USC Stevens Center for Innovation
Legal Office Hours

This program provides complimentary legal assistance, counseling and information materials to all USC innovators (faculty, staff, students and alumni) and start-up companies. Our services are on-campus and are provided by qualified outside corporate and intellectual property attorneys.

For more information, visit: http://stevens.usc.edu/about-us/programs/legal-office-hours.


CATALYST
Allied Minds and Bristol-Myers Squibb
Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

Background:
CATALYST is an exciting new program launched by Allied-Bristol Life Sciences (ABLS), a joint venture of global pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and venture builder Allied Minds, to identify and develop commercially-promising biopharmaceutical innovations from leading universities and research institutions. Launched in 2014, ABLS provides world-class expertise in drug development, access to a fully integrated drug discovery and development center (with medicinal chemistry, biological assays, animal models, pharmacology, toxicology capabilities, etc.) as well as seasoned management and the necessary financial backing to bring transformational academic discoveries to patients.

Objectives:
Through CATALYST, ABLS aims to:

  • Identify therapeutic opportunities with strong translational potential and that are aligned with ABLS’s strategic areas of interest.
  • License and develop lead compounds, investing ~$12M to $16M per program to undertake pre-clinical development and position the program for further clinical development and commercialization by BMS.
  • Strengthen relationships with leading academic institutions.

Disclosure and Confidentiality:
The information contained in your proposal is NOT deemed confidential unless your institution has entered into a Confidentiality Agreement with ABLS that covers the subject matter of your proposal. Please consult with Mina Zion (mzion@usc.edu) at USC Stevens for guidance on disclosure of confidential information.

Selection Criteria and Process:

  • Successful proposals will have elucidated novel and differentiated mechanisms, supported by strong scientific validation, underlying disease states of strategic interest (see below). Priority will be given to those projects where initial lead molecules have already been identified and possess the potential to deliver first-in class drug candidates
  • Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted by the 1st of each month are reviewed on or before the 28th of the same month. PIs of selected proposals will be invited to present their projects to the CATALYST Steering Committee. If your project is selected, we will work efficiently with you to finalize the research plan, budget, and necessary agreements.

Strategic areas of interest are:
Immuno-oncology, Oncology, Immunoscience, Cardiovascular, Genetically-defined diseases, and Fibrosis. More information on these areas of interest and the full application can be found here http://www.ablifescience.com/catalyst.  

For more information, including the identification of potential background Intellectual Property, please contact Mina Zion (mzion@usc.edu).