October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

University of Iowa Accepting Pre-Proposals For Commercialization Awards Program

Get our GAP Insights Newsletter

Join Upcoming Events

October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

UIRF is accepting pre-proposals for the 2013 commercialization award program. Despite the delay in the Iowa state final budget approval, UIRF is now accepting pre-proposal innovation summaries. As we did last year, we will work with PIs to perform IP and market assessments on each summary. Pre-proposals successfully completing these assessments will be asked to submit full proposals.

PLEASE NOTE: Until the budget is passed, we will not know the amount of funding for this year’s GAP fund, or the dates for submission, reviews, or awards.

Please submit pre-proposals and questions by email directly to paul-dymerski@uiowa.edu.


The Iowa Centers for Enterprise (ICE), in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED), is pleased to announce seed funding that is designed to expand the commercialization of UI technology.

The funds are to support the development of innovations with commercial potential, with the result that more UI technology reaches the marketplace. The funding is intended to support a range of stages in technology development, from initial concept (prior to intellectual property disclosure), through proof of concept, to licensing and commercialization. Existing industry connections are not a prerequisite for funding; however, all projects should have a clear commercial benefit or potential for the state of Iowa, including but not limited to:

  • Growth in the Iowa employment base;
  • Creation of an Iowa company;
  • Licensing to an existing Iowa company; and
  • Generating revenue for the UI enterprise.

Interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged. Applications that do not have a clear connection with commercialization and/or technology development will not be considered responsive to this call for proposals and will not be reviewed.

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility

All tenure-track or tenured faculty, clinical faculty, research track faculty, research scientists, research engineers, associates, and other staff members for whom research and scholarship are assigned as one of their primary job responsibilities and have at least a 50% university appointment during the year of the project are eligible to apply. These individuals are designated as PI-eligible applicants. The proposal may have as many co-PIs as appropriate.

Visiting faculty, lecturers, postdoctoral associates, fellowship trainees, medical residents, graduate students, and undergraduate students are not eligible.

The proposal can be one that was previously submitted to other programs, but must satisfy the requirements and objectives listed above.

Pre-Proposal Format – Innovation Summary

The application must contain the following sections in the order indicated, with each section being clearly identified. Proposals are now submitted in 3 steps. (Please submit this Innovation Summary as early as possible to allow time for the Market Analysis).

  • Cover Page: Include the project title, the names and contact information of participants, and a project summary of 200 words or less (maximum: 1 page).
  • Innovation (maximum: 1 page):
    • What is the envisioned end product or service?
    • What limitation, problem, or need does it solve?
    • What is novel and/or new about the proposed product or service?
    • What is its current state of development?
    • What is the most directly comparable product or service currently available?
    • What differentiates your technology from other solutions?
  • Provide a summary of the purpose of the proposed project. (maximum: 1 page)
  • Do you see this as IP for licensing to an existing company, or through a new venture?

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated for their potential to grow and enhance Iowa’s economy and generate income with UI technology. Each project will be reviewed according to the following criteria (listed in order of importance).

  • Commercial Viability: How likely is it that, if the project is successful, there is a viable commercial development path?
  • Technological Viability: How likely is it that, if the project is successful, there is a continuing and viable technological development path?
  • Project Viability: How likely is it that the project endpoints can be achieved within projected budget and timeframe?

As proposals are received, a market analysis will be performed to pre-screen for commercial viability. These results will be added to the proposal for the review committee. PIs are required to participate in this analysis process. Understanding the target market, competition, etc., will aid product development.

Get the Report

More GAP News