RFP & eligibilty

The annual Center for Life Science Enterprise  / Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) awards are administered by the Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology and funded by the New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR). Instructions and downloadable pdf application form for the CAT proposals are available. The CAT funding awards require collaborative applied research and technology transfer with industry that will lead to quantifiable economic impact in New York State. We encourage new faculty to apply with innovative projects that might be of future interest to industry and to collaborate with potential industrial partners when preparing the proposal. Investigators are encouraged to seek feedback and advice from Institute staff with regard to identifying potential industrial partners or to facilitate proposal preparation. Please feel free to email us at mlc247@cornell.edu or call (607) 254-6541 with any questions.

TO:                Faculty in the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Human Ecology, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Boyce Thompson Institute, and Weill Cornell Medical College

FROM:           Jocelyn Rose, Director of the Institute of Biotechnology

DATE:           December 19, 2016

RE:                Call for CAT Funding Awards Proposals

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 March 20, 2017. 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 industry that will lead to quantifiable economic impact in New York State. We particularly encourage new faculty to apply with projects that might be of future interest to industry: again, industrial partners located within New York State must be identified.

Application deadline is March 19, 2018.

We will be making grants in a variety of areas, 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

2)    Clear commercialization pathway – demonstrate understanding of target market and its size, competing inventions, plans to disclose invention(s) to Cornell University

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

PIs are urged to collaborate with their industrial sponsors in preparing the economic impact portion of their proposal; an increasingly important element in proposal evaluation. New investigators, women and minority applicants are encouraged. 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 2018. Institute staff are available to assist in identifying potential industrial 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.

An event designed to assist with understanding how to write a strong CAT proposal will be held in January 2017. Refer to this page for details: http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/events All are welcome to attend. Individual advisement is available at any time with Marla Coppolino, Director of Outreach and Business Development for the CAT.

Details concerning the CAT award program are posted on the website: http://www.biotech.cornell.edu/cat/funding.  Please send any questions not answered there by e-mail to biotech@cornell.edu, or call Marla Coppolino (607-254-6541).


Guidelines for CAT Funding Awards

Who is eligible:  Principal investigators must have faculty status (assistant through full professor) at any campus of Cornell University. Senior Research Associates may be eligible; but should consult with the Director prior to applying. We strongly encourage new investigator, women and minority applicants. The CAT also encourages PIs to engage their graduate students and postdocs in the application process.

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 2018 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 30th. PIs must also ensure that their industrial collaborator fills out the annual request for economic impact. Awardees are required to give presentations in June of 2018. 

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 industrial support. Applications must describe a genuine collaboration with New York industry, 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. New faculty are encouraged to apply with projects of possible future interest to industry. Successful applications in the past have often been able to indicate the expected intellectual property and to have the industrial sponsor define both the dollar value of the industrial 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 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 industrial collaborator should be attached.

Budgets:  The dollar amount for a single investigator project will range up to a maximum of $50,000 per year.  Support levels for multi-investigator CAT projects will be based on total industrial 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.

Industrial 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 (industry: 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 should contact us for clarification.

CAT Award Schedule:         Application deadline: March 19, 2018

                                                Award notice in May; one-year funding period begins July 1, 2018

Questions:  Please send any questions to biotech@cornell.edu, or call Marla Coppolino (607) 254-6541.