Apply Now! Early Innovation Funds Available

Erlay Innovation Fund logo with Technology commercialization logo underneath

Technology Commercialization is excited to announce the spring 2023 Early Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program to fund short-term projects that advance early-stage innovations. The program provides $3,000 to $10,000 per project and will fund approximately 5 to 10 projects per cycle.

This opportunity is open to all UMN researchers and employees, including faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff. Funding is offered twice a year, in the spring and fall, with a goal of advancing a diverse portfolio of innovation opportunities across all campuses, colleges, and disciplines. We encourage all to apply, especially those who have never worked with the Tech Comm office previously.

The Early Innovation Fund is designed to help advance the technology readiness of an innovation through a variety of means, including support for: buying/renting equipment or purchasing materials); access to testing services; expertise, or personnel (e.g., a student worker); dissemination or implementation of innovations to generate user feedback; and/or entrepreneurial coursework/exploration (e.g., travel for customer conversations that are part of MIN-Corps or I-Corps programs). See a full list of technology development activities that are in scope and learn more about past award recipients and their projects. 

The application opens April 17 with submissions due May 22. Awards will be announced in early July.

An online information session will be held on Tuesday, April 25 from 2:00 - 2:30 p.m. to provide an overview of the program and answer questions. All are welcome, and registration is not required. Join via Zoom using this link.

Visit the Early Innovation Fund web page to learn more and apply.