Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


About TechConnectWV

Seed Grant Program for Research and Commercial Partnering

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The Program

TechConnectWV’s Seed Grant Program for Research and Commercial Partnering will provide small matching research grants of up to $5,000 each for “close-to-commercialization” projects involving partnerships between primarily undergraduate institutions and the private sector. Teams of experts will review application proposals and make final decisions. The effort will enlighten both research faculty and business representatives to the concept of collaboration for commercialization and help encourage vetted projects to move forward.

Eligibility Requirements

The project must have a company/college research relationship. The proposal may come from either the company or the institution of higher education. Any funding approved will be awarded through the institution of higher education which will be responsible for reporting the results of the project. Eligible applicants may be faculty, staff or students at any one of West Virginias primarily undergraduate public or private institutions of higher education.  The following are eligible institutions:

Bluefield State College
Concord University
Glenville State College
Shepherd University
West Liberty University
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
West Virginia State University
Alderson-Broaddus College
Bethany College
Davis and Elkins College
University of Charleston
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Wheeling Jesuit University
Appalachian Bible College
Ohio Valley University
Salem International University

Eligible Activities

The Seed Grant Program for Research and Commercial Partnering is intended to support innovation between the higher education sector and private businesses. The funding is intended to:

  • Assist in the commercialization of a product, innovation or technology
  • Test the feasibility of a technology or product very close to commercialization
  • Assist a company in completing a milestone project that will directly help catalyze the growth of the company

There must be a real market opportunity to be addressed as an immediate result of the proposed project. All proposed projects must be commercialization-preparation related activities.

Eligible Use of Funds

Program funds may be used for salary/wages and/or materials. Funds may be used to purchase specialized equipment if the applicant can demonstrate the essential role that the equipment plays in advancing critical research or processes. Institutions may not charge overhead on the grant.

Preferred Projects

Preference will be given to projects that relate to one of the following industries:

  • Chemicals and Advanced Materials
  • Biotechnology/Life Science
  • Identification Technology
  • Medical Devices/Health Care
  • Nanotechnology
  • Energy

Grant Parameters

Grant amounts will be for up to 50 percent of project costs, not to exceed $5,000. The cash match may come from other grant funds, the company or another source.

Grant funds are to be used for activities occurring and to be completed by July 31, 2013, with a final report due not later than August 31, 2013. No contract extensions will be granted and all unspent funds must be returned.

Application Process

Application Form – Include all relevant information

– A one paragraph summary of the research/project, the researchers
and any partners and the main objective/outcome from the research/project.
This should be on its own page, separate from the narrative.

– A narrative of no more than three (3) pages that details the proposed
research/project. The narrative should include project background, specific
objectives to be accomplished with the funds and details on the scope of work of
all partners. Specific emphasis should be put on the innovation/technology/
product being researched and its near-term potential for commercialization.
Include background information on the company and on the relationship between
the institution and the company.

Curriculum Vitae – A brief curriculum vitae (2-3 pages) of the lead applicant and
brief biographies of any additional parties involved.

Budget – Provide specific details on how the grant funds will be used. Include
details on matching funds or in-kind support from the institution or collaborative
partners. If the grant is a component of a larger initiative, please provide details
on the overall budget for the larger project including information about other
sources of funding. Please note: Overhead is not a permissible use of funds.

Intellectual Property Arrangement – Please include a copy of the policy/
arrangement at your institution for the ownership of intellectual property
developed by faculty, staff, or students as related to this project and provide a
copy of the specific agreements between the institution and the applicant and the
private sector company who will be involved in the project. This agreement
must be made prior to the commencement of the project in order to receive

Letter of Support from a Company – Include a letter of support from the company
specifying how the company will be involved and its match.

Approval Process

Applicants will receive e-mail notification acknowledging receipt of the completed application
Review Process: Applications will undergo three reviews

  1.  Administrative review
  2.  Business Review
  3. Academic/Technical Review

This program is a competitive grant program. The Seed/Assistance Grant Review Committee will make decisions on applications after the
reviews are completed and will notify the institution and company whether the application has been approved for funding.

Successful applicants will be notified in writing. All grant funds must be expended by the deadline noted in the contract

Application Checklist

  • Application Form
  • Abstract
  • Narrative
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget
  • Intellectual Property Arrangements
  • Letter of Support for Match (if applicable)
  • Letter of Support from Company




For more information about the program, contact TechConnectWV Executive Director Anne Barth at 304.444.2918 or anne@techconnectwv.org.