Call for "Center for Advanced Technology (CAT)" Grant Proposals

We are pleased to announce the annual Center for Life Science Enterprise / Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) call for grant proposals, administered by the Cornell University Institute of Biotechnology and funded by the New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).  The CAT awards fund collaborative applied research and technology transfer with industry that will lead to quantifiable economic impact in New York State.  The application deadline is March 20, 2017.

Information, instructions and online application forms for the CAT proposals are available.  We particularly encourage new faculty to apply with projects that might be of future interest to industry.  Industrial partners are required and must be identified.

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

  • Agricultural and environmental biotechnology
  • Biochemistry and biophysics
  • Biological pest control
  • Biomedical engineering and healthcare
  • Bioremediation/ biodegradation
  • Computational biology
  • Diagnostics and detection technologies
  • Medical diagnostics and devices
  • Genomics
  • Proteomics
  • Nutrition
  • Fiber sciences

Multi-investigator CAT proposals between scientists in different disciplines, and between faculty on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, NY, the campus in Geneva, NY, and/or the Weill Cornell Medical College campus in NYC, are encouraged.  Priority will be given to those applications that involve a genuine collaboration with New York industry and that have potential significant impact on economic development in New York.  PIs are urged to collaborate with their industrial sponsors in preparing the economic impact portion of their proposal, which is an increasingly important element in proposal evaluation.  New investigators, women and minority applicants are encouraged.  Awardees 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 also provide a brief (~150 word) update in January 2018 and a 3 page final report in June 2018.  There will also be a faculty-presented poster session in the Spring of 2016.  Institute of Biotechnology staff members are available to assist in identifying potential industrial partners or to provide advice on the program proposal preparation.  Read about examples of current and previous CAT awards here.
Details about the CAT award program are posted on the website.  For more information, please send questions to or call Marla Coppolino at (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 of the Institute of Biotechnology 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 receiving awards will participate in a CAT end-of-year event in June 2018. PIs must provide three PowerPoint slides containing images related to the concept, innovation and impact of the project.  A brief project update will be due in January 2017, summarizing activities to the end of December 2017, and a three page summary and final report will be due at the end of the project period.  PI’s must also ensure that their industrial collaborator fills out the annual request for economic impact.  All of these document templates are posted on our website.

Criteria for CAT awards:  Proposals will be evaluated on scientific promise, innovation and potential economic impact. 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.  New faculty members are encouraged to apply with projects of possible future interest to industry.  Successful applications in the past have often been able (1) to indicate the expected intellectual property and (2) 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:  Instructions and forms for the CAT proposals are available at our website. Proposals are requested to be brief and extensive documentation is not necessary, so only a few key references should be cited.  A letter of commitment from the industrial collaborator can be attached. 

Budgets:  The maximum dollar amount awarded for any single investigator project will be $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 that CAT grants 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 any needed clarification.

CAT Award Schedule:      Application deadline: March 20, 2017
                                            Award notice in May; one-year funding begins July 1, 2017

Questions:  Please send any questions to or call Marla Coppolino at (607) 254-6541.

Institute of Biotechnology