Trask Innovation Fund supports short-term projects that will enhance commercial value of Purdue University intellectual property assets.
- Open to all Purdue Researchers, faculty and staff at all campuses.
- Proposals must be related to a Purdue technology for which Office of Technology Commercialization has received a disclosure.
- Depending upon technology domain and commercialization opportunities, applicants must choose between one of the following three tracks.
- Innovation Sparks (Life Science and Medical Devices): Technologies with applications in life science and/or medical devices including but not limited to, therapeutics, drug discovery and development, Diagnostics, and Agriculture. The technology must not be encumbered under any Option/ License to be eligible for this application track.
- Innovation Sparks (Physical Sciences): Technologies with applications outside of life sciences and medical devices such as engineering, chemistry and computer sciences. The technology must not be encumbered under any Option/ License to be eligible for for this application track.
- Commercialization Partner Sparks: Technologies in any technology domain for which, (a) OTC has either signed an option agreement with a potential licensee or (b) the applicant is engaged with Purdue Research Foundation to establish a commercialization partnership and will sign an option for technology before receiving Trask funding.
- One applicant can apply only under one application track during each cycle.
- To determine the right application track, applicants should work with the Business Development Manager responsible for the technology.
- Proposal must target specific and significant milestones that are achievable within 6 months.
How to apply:
- Application for Trask Innovation Fund must be submitted through Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Pre-Award Center (http://www.purdue.edu/business/sps/preaward/).
- DO NOT submit the Trask applications directly to OTC. OTC will not review any applications that were not routed through Purdue’s Sponsored Program Services.
- If you have questions about the application process, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When to apply:
Trask Innovation Fund proposal submission are due on the 3rd Friday in February and the 4th Friday in September each year.
Use the processing timeline calculator at the Pre-Award Center (http://www.purdue.edu/business/sps/preaward/) to estimate the time of submission to Pre-Award in order to meet the Trask submission deadline.
Purdue Innovates will do its internal review of all the proposals and score them based on the following criteria:
a. Significance of the invention
b. Stage of development
c. Commercialization potential
d. Path to Commercialization
e. Intellectual Property landscape
f. Applicant’s commitment to commercialization
- Based on the internal review, Purdue Innovates will shortlist applicants that are invited to the Trask Innovation Fund Advisory Council meeting.
- If a proposal is selected, the applicant will be asked to must pitch the proposed project to the Trask Innovation Fund Advisory Council.
- Each pitch session will be 10 minutes long with 5-10 minutes for questions.
- The objectives of the pitch session are to provide a forum for the applicant to benefit from the expert advice of the Trask Innovation Fund Advisory Council and to provide an opportunity for the applicant to address the questions of the Trask Innovation Fund Advisory Council.
- Applicants are advised to work with the Business Development Manager (BDM) from the Office of Technology Commercialization that is managing their disclosure as they prepare for the pitch session.
- Presentation made to the Trask Innovation Fund Advisory will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- The technology’s novelty and need
- Market size, needs and competition
- Technology readiness for the market
- Impact the requested Trask Innovation Fund funding will have on the technology’s stage of development
- Legal landscape for the technology (i.e., IP position and third-party obligations)
- The principal investigator’s commitment to commercialization
- Experimental design of the proposed project
- Based on the recommendation of Trask Innovation Fund Advisory Council OTC will make its funding decision
- All project aims and budget funds must be completed/expended within six (6) months from the date of award. No extensions of time will be granted, unless extraordinary circumstances can be demonstrated, which must be described in detail in a written request to Purdue Innovates as soon as timely completion of the project is in question, but no later than 30 days prior to the end of the project term.
- Three (3) months into the project, award recipients must meet with the assigned Business Development Manager to provide a status on the project. Insufficient progress on a project at this meeting can result in early termination of the Trask Innovation Fund award, and return of the Fund monies.
- Progress report(s) must be submitted to Purdue Innovates within 30 days of the end of the award period, or an approved extended term if applicable. At the end of the project term, all remaining funds will be refunded to the Trask Innovation Fund.
- Award recipients may re-apply in subsequent rounds, up to a maximum of three (3) times, for support of the same technology (e.g., as a second phase, for example), not to exceed an aggregate cap of $100,000 per technology.
- In order to be eligible for any subsequent request for applications, the final progress report of the previous award(s) on the same technology must have been timely submitted to the Purdue Innovates.
- Applications that are directed to a technology that was previously funded will be subject to the full review process and considered in the same pool as first-time Trask Innovation Fund award applicants.
- For Trask Innovation Fund applications made under Startup Sparks track, execution of an option agreement by the startup is required before funds can be released by Purdue Innovates.
- All funds provided will be applicable for recovery, in full, as identified costs of development pursuant to Purdue University Intellectual Property Policy I.A.1.
How can I apply for Trask?
The application for Trask must be submitted through Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Pre-Award Center. Please DO NOT submit the Trask applications directly to OTC. You can reference the submission guidelines above.
Can I apply for TRASK prior to disclosing my idea to OTC?
No. In order to be eligible to apply for Trask you must disclose your invention to OTC before submitting the application.
My project is still an idea and in early stage. Is this eligible for funding?
Yes, provided you have submitted an invention disclosure to OTC. The proposals are reviewed based on the selection criteria described above.
The technology that I want to submit the Trask proposal on is already licensed by another entity, can I still apply?
No. The technology must not be encumbered under any license to be eligible for Trask.
Can I apply for Trask if a company has signed an option or expressed an interest in signing an option agreement with OTC for the technology that I want to apply for Trask with?
You may apply for Trask under “Commercialization Partner Sparks” track but you cannot apply under the “Innovation Sparks” track.
Can the startup signing the option with OTC get some of the Trask funding to do market research on the technology?
No. Trask funds must be used exclusively in a Purdue laboratory to meet the proposed project milestones and cannot be transferred to an optionee.
Can I apply for Trask more than once with the same idea?
You can apply for Trask more than once and with the same idea. Award recipients may re-apply in subsequent rounds, up to a maximum of three (3) times, for support of the same technology (e.g., as a second phase, for example), not to exceed an aggregate cap of $100,000 per technology disclosed to OTC.
Can I apply for Trask more than once in same year?
Yes, there are no restrictions on applying for Trask more than once a year. However, if you are an award recipient and applying for it again in a consecutive round with the same technology, you are required to submit the final report of the previous Trask award to OTC in order to be considered for the next round of funding.
Is the funding different depending on which “track” of Trask I apply under?
The maximum amount of funding you can apply for is the same under the two different tracks. However, if you apply under Commercialization Partner Sparks the execution of an option agreement by a company is required before funds can be released by OTC.
What is the level of funding I can apply for?
Trask will fund up to $50,000 for the duration of 6 months. The objective of Trask Innovation Fund is to support short-term projects that will enhance the commercial value of Purdue University intellectual property assets. Unlike other federally funded research programs, Trask does not support basic scientific discoveries. Indirects are not applied to the Trask funding.
When will the TRASK awards be announced?
The semi-finalists will be notified within 45 days of application submission deadline. The finalists will be notified about the outcome of their proposal within 60 days after they present their proposal to the Trask Advisory Council.
What is the difference between the two tracks (Commercialization Partner Sparks vs. Innovation Sparks)?
Both application tracks support short-term projects that will enhance the commercial value of Purdue University intellectual property assets. You can apply under Commercialization Partner Sparks ONLY if (a) OTC has either signed an option agreement with a potential licensee or (b) the applicant is engaged with OTC to establish a startup and will sign an option for technology before receiving Trask funding. To determine the right application track for your application please contact the Business Development Manager for the technology.
What items will not be funded via Trask?
Faculty salary, travel expenses, consulting expenses, external expenses with entities outside of Purdue.