Innovation Pilot Award Program

Awards Summary

The Office of Technology Development Innovation Pilot Award Program provides researchers with funding to support the commercialization of early-stage innovations developed through FAU research. Awards support testing, prototyping and other proof-of-concept studies to accomplish specific development milestones that demonstrate the innovation’s value and reduce risk to potential industry partners. Goals for funded projects include:

  • Developing innovations to bring them closer to market (e.g. testing, prototyping)
  • Licensing FAU innovations to industry partners
  • Formation of new companies based on FAU innovations
  • Attracting external follow-on funding (e.g. SBIR/STTR awards, industry sponsored research)

Funding Information

Awards are presented in amounts from $500 to $5,000. The number and value of awards presented each year will depend on available funding and the quantity and quality of applications received.

Eligibility Guidelines

FAU faculty, postdocs, graduate students and staff are eligible to apply. Each application must have a faculty member listed as the principal investigator. The project must include an innovation that was previously disclosed to the Office of Technology Development.

Application Process

Applications for awards will be accepted on an annual basis. Acceptance of an award means the recipient will commit to using the funds within one year. Funds may only be used to achieve the project milestones specified in the application. Any other expenses must be supported by other funding sources.

Submit completed applications to the Office of Technology Development via email at by Jan. 31.

Key Dates

Jan. 1-31 – Applications accepted

Feb. 1-15 – Committee review

Feb. 15-28 – Awardees notified

Committee Review

An Award Committee consisting of Division of Research staff, college representatives and external advisors identifies applications that best satisfy certain selection criteria including:

  • Potential for societal or economic impact
  • Demonstrated interest from potential industry partners or customers
  • Competitive advantage over solutions that are currently available
  • Existence of a demo, prototype or pilot program
  • Likelihood of achieving project milestones within the budget and award period
  • Utilization of the Innovation and Business Development programs and resources

Members of the Award Committee are not under any obligation to maintain the confidentiality of information contained in Innovation Pilot Award applications. Applicants should not include proprietary information that has not previously been disclosed and protected through the Office of Technology Development. Applications can include general information about innovation characteristics or outcomes without specifically discussing how those characteristics or outcomes are achieved. The application should be focused on the commercialization opportunity rather than the details of the innovation itself.

Applicant Presentations

Selected applicants are invited to present to the Award Committee. Each individual or team presents for 10 minutes and addresses Award Committee questions for 10 minutes. Feedback is provided for all projects and applicants not selected for funding are encouraged to reapply in the future. Applicants selected for an award are notified within two weeks after presentation.

Project Implementation

A final commercialization plan and budget is submitted by the award recipient and approved by the Award Committee before any work is initiated. The principal investigator is responsible for the project and will commit the time and effort necessary to oversee it. Any significant changes to the commercialization plan or budget during the award period will require prior approval.

Reporting Requirements

Award recipients will be expected to communicate regularly with the Office of Technology Development during the award period to discuss the project and any assistance needed to complete project milestones within the timeline and budget. A written progress report will be provided to the Award Committee six months after the award period start date as well as a final report at the conclusion of the award period. Reports will address the following topics:

  • Progress towards achieving commercialization plan milestones
  • Intellectual property updates
  • Budget updates
  • Challenges preventing technical and/or business development

Terms and Conditions

  • Applicants may only receive one award per fiscal year
  • Award funds will not be released until all necessary compliance related approvals have been received (e.g. IRB, IACUC, IBC)
  • Funds may be used to pay for activities such as prototype design and fabrication, experimental materials and equipment, and market research activities but not for salaries, stipends or benefits
  • Use of funds must be initiated within 60 days from the award start date
  • Within one year after completion of the funded project, the recipient may be asked to participate in a Division of Research event or other promotional activity featuring the Innovation Pilot Award Program
  • The Innovation Pilot Award Program must be acknowledged in any resulting publications, including press releases, using the following language: "This project was funded (or partially funded) by the Florida Atlantic University Division of Research through the Office of Technology Development Innovation Pilot Award Program"