Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund

Key Deadlines

  • Pre-Proposals Due: November 9, 2023
  • Full Proposals Due: Early March, 2024 (TBD)

The Technology Validation and Start Fund (TVSF), funded by the Ohio Third Frontier, aims to accelerate and fund the translation of promising technologies into the marketplace through Ohio start-up companies with the eventual goal of creating greater economic growth.

CWRU is the only institution in Ohio to have received six consecutive awards of $500,000 per year, administered by the Technology Transfer Office as the CWRU TVSF Program (CTP) to advance a number of selected programs over a 12-month period. The CTP is intended to be the final bridge between a translational research project and a viable commercial program. Funding will support technologies that require validation/proof that will directly impact and enhance commercial viability and the ability to support a startup company. Projects must have already advanced beyond basic research and should have the equivalent of a laboratory-scale proof of concept prior to applying for funding.

Applicants are encouraged to work with potential Ohio licensees and business advisors prior to submitting an application in order to identify critical needs for the technology. Paramount importance will be placed on customer discovery, whether in the form of industry partners or potential end users. Specific milestones related to enhancing valuation and reducing risk should be defined.

Technology Focus Areas:

All proposals must fall into the State of Ohio’s technology focus areas below. Please note that this specific RFP will focus on technologies outside healthcare and life sciences. We will issue a separate RFP for biomedical projects in early 2024.

  • Advanced Materials
  • Energy
  • Software/Information Technology
  • Sensors
  • Advanced Manufacturing

Award Information

  • Anticipated award type: Standard Grant with 1:1 cost match
  • Anticipated number of awards: 10-12 per year at $50,000 - $150,000 each (includes cost match)
  • Funding period per project: 1 year
  • Funding start date: 1-2 months after submission of full proposal
  • Cost Match Requirement: cash cost share commitment of at least one dollar for every dollar of project funds requested (i.e., a ratio of 1:1) and must represent a specific new, unrestricted (non-government funding) cash commitment to the project
  • Funding Restrictions:
    • Eligible expenses include: personnel time, purchased services from vendors outside of CWRU, supplies, equipment
    • At least 50% of the total budget should be allocated to independent, off-campus, third-party vendors, preferably located in Ohio
    • Personnel expenses cannot exceed 50% of the total budget
    • Indirect costs are not allowed
    • Travel expenses are not allowed


  • Applicants must be full-time CWRU faculty, or have joint appointments between CWRU and any of the following hospitals: University Hospitals, VA Medical Center or Metro Health Systems
  • Applicants must have at least a provisional patent application on file related to the project with the CWRU Technology Transfer Office
  • Priority will be given to projects that have had previous funding from a Translational Research Program or have been pre-vetted by one of CWRU's affiliated Validation Programs, listed below:

Translational Research Funding Programs:

  • Case-Coulter Translational Research Program (CCTRP)
  • Council to Advance Human Health (CAHH)
  • NIH Center for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI)
  • Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC)
  • Taipei Medical University (TMU)
  • Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI)
  • High Throughput Screening Program
  • OFRN / ARPA-E / Other DOD or DOE

Validation Programs:

  • Research and Technology Commercialization Visiting Committee (RTCVC)
  • I-Corps
  • Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI)
  • JumpStart Venture Validation Program (VVP)
  • Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (TBEIC)

Submission Process

All submissions for TVSF Phase 1 grants will be directly administered by the Technology Transfer Office at CWRU with oversight from the Ohio Third Frontier.

Step 1: Pre-Proposals (using template HERE) Due: November 9, 2023

Use the template and submit to the CTP Program Director, Walid Jalabi

Step 2: Qualified proposals will be chosen to advance to the full-proposal stage. Each applicant will be contacted individually.

Full Proposals Due: Early March 2024 (TBD)

University Contact

If you have any questions about the process, please contact:

Walid Jalabi
Licensing Manager, Technology Transfer Office
Director, CWRU Technology Validation & Start-Up Fund
(216) 368-2151 -