RFP & eligibilty

We are pleased to announce our annual Center for Life Science Enterprise/Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) call for grant proposals, administered under the auspices of the Institute of Biotechnology. PIs are invited to submit proposals for consideration in the award competition by May 15, 2020. Instructions and forms for the CAT proposals are available at our website at http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/cat-awards/apply-instructions.  The CAT funding awards require collaborative applied research and technology transfer with company partners that will lead to quantifiable economic impact in New York State. Again, company partner must be identified.

Application deadline is May 15, 2020.

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

We will be making grants in a variety of areas of the life sciences, including the following:

  • Bioremediation/biodegradation
  • Diagnostics & detection technologies
  • Agricultural & environmental biotechnologies
  • Medical biotechnology
  • Medical devices
  • Biological pest control
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Computational biology
  • Genomics/Proteomics/Metabolomics
  • Biochemistry & biophysics
  • Healthcare & biomedical engineering
  • Veterinary technologies

Multi-investigator CAT proposals between scientists in different disciplines and between faculty in the Medical College and the Ithaca/Geneva campuses are encouraged. Priority will be given to those applications that show the following:

1)    Scientific merit – proof of principle at the laboratory level, quality innovation, good experimental design. Avoid scientific jargon.

2) Good market potential and  clear commercialization pathway – demonstrate understanding of target market and its size, competing inventions, regulatory approvals needed, plans to disclose invention(s) to Cornell University, scale-up from laboratory to commercial level

3) Economic impact potential – job creation and revenues within New York State that could arise from your invention in the future, and approximate timelines for the impact

PIs are urged to collaborate with their company sponsors in preparing the economic impact portion of their proposal; an increasingly important element in proposal evaluation. If your proposal is funded you will be asked to provide a series of PowerPoint slides/images to be used as an example of the research being undertaken with CAT funding.  Awardees will provide a brief (~150 word) update in January and a 3-page final report in June. Awardees are required to give presentations in June of 2021. Institute staff are available to assist in identifying potential company partners or to provide advice on the program proposal preparation. Examples of previous awards can be found at http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/cat-awards/cat-projects.

For 2020-21 proposals: Supplement option will be offered by the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) for selected projects. CAT applicants can applly for an award of an additional $5,000 to supplement a CAT grant, if the project's activities related to development, characterization, or testing of materials. Please describe in your proposal on page 2 and justify in the Budget section on page 4. Visit this link for more information

Events designed to assist with understanding how to write a strong CAT proposal will be held prior to the proposal deadline. Refer to this page for details: http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/events. All are welcome to attend.

Details about the CAT award program are posted on http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat.  You are invited to schedule an individual consultation with Marla Coppolino (mlc247@cornell.edu or 607-254-6541), Director of Outreach and Business Development for the CAT.


Guidelines for CAT Funding Awards

Who is eligible:  Principal investigators must have faculty status (assistant through full professor) at any campus of Cornell University in New York State. Senior Research Associates may be eligible; but should consult with the Director prior to applying. Cornell University is committed to diversity and inclusion.

Obligations of CAT funding receipt: PIs must provide three PowerPoint slides containing images related to the concept, innovation and impact of the project. For our reporting purposes, a brief project update will be due in January 2021 summarizing activities to the end of December, and a three-page summary and final report will be due at the end of the project period after June 30, 2021.

PIs must also ensure that their company collaborator fills out the annual request for economic impact. Awardees are required to give presentations in June of 2021. 

Criteria for CAT awards:  Proposals will be evaluated on scientific merit, clear commercialization pathway and economic impact potential, as described on the first page. Although the proposed work may be related to ongoing work, it must not duplicate projects funded elsewhere. We will be emphasizing high-quality projects that also generate a high degree of company support. Applications must describe a genuine collaboration with a New York company, have an impact on economic development and have matching funds from a New York company. A New York company is defined as one that has a manufacturing or research entity or headquarters in the State, and it may be a small, medium, or large-sized company. Successful applications in the past have often been able to indicate the expected intellectual property and to have the company sponsor define both the dollar value of the company matching support and the commercialization plan and economic impact of the technology in a letter of support. 

Application form:  Online forms and instructions are available directly on http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/cat-awards/apply-instructions.  Proposals are to be brief and extensive documentation is not necessary, so only a few key references should be cited. A letter of intent from the company collaborator should be attached.

Budgets:  The dollar amount for a single investigator project will range up to a maximum of $75,000 per year.  Support levels for multi-investigator CAT projects will be based on total company matching dollars of all investigators on the project. Fringe benefits are to be budgeted, but not indirect costs. 

Budget restrictions:  Funds cannot be used for building renovations, foreign travel, entertainment, consultants, journals and books, or office equipment. Requests for equipment and travel must be justified. Details of CAT Reporting Guidelines on fund use can be found on the website noted above.

Company matching funds:  Scientifically excellent proposals for research and development activities in collaboration with companies in New York will be given priority for CAT awards. NYSTAR requires the CAT meet a minimum match of 1.5:1 (company: CAT) in total direct costs. Matching funds and CAT funds must be expended during the same time period. The expectation is that the match will be a cash match. Per NYSTAR, an "in kind" match is not a cash match. PIs may contact us for clarification.

CAT Award Schedule:         Application deadline: May 15, 2020
Award notice in May; one-year funding period begins July 1, 2020 and runs through until June 30, 2021.

Details about the CAT award program are posted on http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat.  You are invited to schedule an individual consultation with Marla Coppolino (mlc247@cornell.edu or 607-254-6541), Director of Outreach and Business Development for the CAT.