Online CAT Award Application FAQ


What is the CAT program?

Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) support university-industry collaborative resarch and technology transfer in commercially relevant technologies. The CAT program was created in 1983 to facilitate the transfer of technology from New York's top research universities into commercially viable products produced in the private sector. There are currently 15 universities in New York State that have CAT programs, funded by NYSTAR, each with a different focus. Ours at Cornell University is known as the Center for Life Science Enterprise and has existed here since 1983.

The CAT Program is designed to spur technology-based applied research and economic development in New York; encourage applied research collaboration and innovation with industry; promote workforce development; better leverage State funds with investments from the federal government, industry, foundations, and not-for-profit econoimc development organizations; and increase the competitiveness of New York State companies.


Who can apply for a CAT award?

Tenured or non-tenured full-time Cornell faculty and senior research associates who have support from a New York State industry partner, and who are working on their own life science related technology that has potential for commercialization.


What is the duration of a CAT award?

CAT grants last for one year, by the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).


When is the next deadline?

NOTE: Due to COVID-19's impact on schedules, our revised proposal deadline is May 15, 2020.


From where does CAT funding come?

A portion of New York State tax payer dollars are assigned to Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) program, whose mission is to accelerate the growth of New York State's high-tech economy. NYSTAR funds the CAT.


How much funding can I apply for?

You can apply for up to $50,000 from Cornell's CAT program. Note that there MUST be a match for the CAT award from a New York State company. The industry partner can contribute more, but the CAT can provide up to $50,000 for the fiscal year.


Why do I need a New York State industry partner?

This is a requirement of the program as established by NYSTAR. The collaboration with your industry partner can offer many benefits, including a provider of technical expertise, materials, funding, and your industry partner can become the potential licensee for your technology. Guidelines for your New York State industry partner are downloadable here.


What do I need to show from the industry partner in my CAT application?

You will need a letter of committment from your industry partner. A template for your industry partner to fill out is downloadable here.


If my industry partner is a small company and/or start-up and doesn't have enough funding to support my project monetarily, is an in-kind match acceptable?

In-kind matches are permitted, but each item or service must be clearly defined and stated in the award application with an associated dollar amount.


What do the reviewers of the CAT grant applications look for?

The review panel examines proposals for their strengths in three areas:

1) Scientific merit, including sound experimental design with deliverables that can be achieved within the one-year term of the grant.

2) A clear commercialization pathway, including development of working prototypes, plans to disclose intellectual property to Cornell, patnents filed and/or awarded, and regulatory processes or certifications approved.

3) Potential for economic development, in terms of new jobs created and retained, and revenue streams created in New York State.


The proposal should be thoughtfully prepared and attention paid to providing a clear and well-referenced background on the project, objectives, and projected timelines and milestones. Approximate timelines for each of the above points are very helpful to include.


When can I apply, and when are applications due?

Apply now until March 23, 2020. 


When are award winners announced?

By early May.


What is the timing for the granting cycle?

July 1st through June 30th.


I am an adjunct professor or senior research associate. Am I eligible to apply for a CAT Award?

You must have a Form 5 on file to be eligible to be a PI. Information on the procedure can be found through the Office of Sponsored Programs. There is a link at the bottom of the page http://www.research.cornell.edu/VPR/Policies/PI_eligibility_app.html to request PI status.


I currently have a CAT award. Can I request a continuation of the project?

You may. However, please note that priority is generally given to new projects, as the purpose of the CAT is to enable the acquisition of 'proof of principle' data, rather than to provide longer term continued funding. Renewed funding of a CAT project must be justified in this regard, with compelling new goals and a demonstration that previously defined milestones have been reached. Continued instrustry matching support is also a prerequisite.


What are my obligations if I accept a CAT award?

Three Powerpoint slides containing images devoted to the concept, innovation, and impact of your project, suitable for brochures or in case of media requests.

A brief Project Update in mid-January summarizing activities to the end of December.

PI presentation at the annual June CAT Symposium.

A 3 page summary and final report at the end of the project period. For details, please contact biotech@cornell.edu.

Please note that you are to ensure that company collaborators provide annual economic impact letters for at least three years beyond the completion of the project.



For any additional questions and discussion of your project, please contact:

Marla Coppolino
Director, Business Development and Outreach, Center for Advanced Technology, Center for Life Science Enterprise
Weill Hall 402