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Innovation Transfer Grants

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The TomKat Center awards grants to initiate the commercialization process of Stanford sustainable energy innovations with the ultimate goal of broadly deploying  advanced sustainable energy technologies.

These grants provide support to bridge the gap between academic research and commercialization, and provide needed resources to develop and refine a concept to the point where it can attract sufficient external investment or is licensed or commercialized through an existing company.

  • The award amount will be based on the maturity of the project, a detailed budget, and clearly defined goals and deliverables.
  • Proposals will generally be limited to grants under $50,000.  Grantees who make significant progress toward validating the commercial viability of their concepts can apply for supplementary funding. In exceptional cases and with strong budgetary justification higher amounts may be considered.
  • The grants are intended to develop advanced working prototypes, conduct customer and market trials, and refine business plans over a period of 3-12 months.

Grant Selection Criteria

A committee selected from the  Innovation Transfer Program staff, advisors, and affiliates provides input in the evaluation of all applications. External individuals participate under our Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Guidelines.

Please note

  • Funding must be for projects undertaken at or originating at Stanford University.
  • The project must have a clearly identifiable innovation component.
  • Proposals must include an active faculty member (PI) at Stanford.
  • Outside and cross-disciplinary collaborations are welcome.
  • This is a competitive selection process and only the top-ranked proposals will be funded.

Selection Criteria for Innovation Grants

Some of the criteria for selection include

  • Is this a novel and potentially disruptive sustainable energy technology?
  • Would this technology have broad, fundamental implications? Cross-disciplinary applications are especially desirable.
  • Is there a proof-of-concept already?
  • Is there a likely, clear path to success - for example IP, device, code, etc. - within a reasonable timeframe?
  • Is this technology likely to be spun-out within 12 months?
  • Is there a strong market need or potential impact?
  • Does this technology have a high likelihood of being licensed?
  • Is there a business model that makes sense?
  • Will the award greatly help move the technology towards commercialization?
  • What is the likelihood of technological success?
  • Is the proposed budget realistic in the context of the project scope?
  • Is TomKat Center support most appropriate and critical to the success of this idea?

Guidelines on IP

IP created by Grantees at Stanford shall be submitted to the Office of Technology Licensing as per normal Stanford University practice, with an indication that TomKat Center funding has been used to support the work. Copies of such communications should be submitted to the Center. Ownership of intellectual property is governed by Stanford University policy: See Research Policy Handbook 9.1. If Stanford University licenses a patent or copyright (except for institutional works) on which you are an inventor/author, you are entitled to receive a portion of the royalty that Stanford University receives from the licensee in accordance with Stanford University‚Äôs royalty distribution policy. As a condition of their involvement in a center-funded project, advisors and mentors must agree to assign their rights in any center-funded invention to Stanford.

Submit your Pre-proposal Here