The M-TRAC grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation program sponsors collaborative translational research projects led by teams of researchers and business advisors as needed working in advanced applied materials. The mission of this program is to develop technologies that address unmet or poorly met market needs. Examples of desirable translational research goals and outcomes include achieving specific milestones on the path to commercializing systems, materials, processing technologies or devices which serve a well documented market need. Proposals may address proof of concept demonstration, prototype development or process scale up that is necessary to attract follow-on funding from third parties. Project funding is in the range of $10,000–$50,000 but additional commercialization value is likely to be found through collaboration with the program’s outside oversight committee.
The proposal must relate to an innovative technology previously disclosed to IIE through the invention disclosure process. The PI must be willing to become involved in the initial business development activities such as customer discovery, competitive analysis, follow-on funding development, patent filings and assessment of the intellectual property landscape surrounding the technology.
The application process begins with a one page letter of intent due Jan. 28, which should be emailed to Program Director John Diebel. Applicants are advised to consult with Diebel on proposal and budget development. Proposals accepted by the oversight committee will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal in early April. Details on the program and application process can be found on the M-TRAC website.