Technology Commercialization Office

Calling all inventors…

$1 million is available for technology investment through the Accelerator Awards program.

The Accelerator Awards program provides Ohio State researchers up to $100,000 to advance and further develop promising technologies, bringing them closer to market.  Concept development, prototyping, coding, market studies and customer validation efforts are eligible uses for this award. The awards are available to all Ohio State researchers who have disclosed their inventions to the Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) in Corporate Engagement. Applications are accepted four times each year.

The application period for the next round of funding opens September 17. Applications are due at 10 p.m. on October 26.

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Apply for an Accelerator Award through Innovate

Ohio State has developed a full funding continuum to support the development of concepts from early stage to end product or company. This funding continuum supports our researchers and entrepreneurs through the commercialization process and reduces risk for those interested in investing or licensing these technologies.


The Accelerator Awards is a funding program based upon the idea that an initial amount of capital, strategically focused, can make a large difference in advancing a technology along the commercialization pathway. The Accelerator Award is designed to provide funding to further develop and validate promising technologies over a 12-month timeline. Through this mechanism, the unlicensed inventions may become more marketable to potential licensing and/or business partners. The Accelerator Awards program is aligned with the mission and goals of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation Start-up Fund (TVSF) found here.


Faculty and staff of The Ohio State University and its affiliated organizations who have filed an invention and/or Intellectual Property Disclosure Form with the TCO.

In order to capture the full value of the Accelerator Award investment, Intellectual Property that is the basis for the submission cannot be optioned, licensed, or encumbered or potentially encumbered through sponsored research or other means at the time of submission or during the term of the award.

Funding Range

Multiple awards can be given per application cycle, with awardees receiving a maximum of $100,000 per award. Applicants are encouraged to request only the amount of funding they require to accomplish their specific goal(s) as the fund is limited, thus making smaller requests more feasible to award. Funds are distributed as a grant with no repayment obligations.


Funded activities can include establishing the proof of concept that the technology will work in the intended commercial application, prototype development, and pre-clinical or clinical development. Once outcome of project is known, the Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) will actively work to transfer the technology to the private sector for marketplace entry. Focus areas for work that can be funded:

  • Prototype development
  • Pre-clinical or clinical development
  • Conduct of pivotal translational proof-of-concept experiments
  • Technical validation
  • Translational or applied research

Release of Funds

The work plan and budget is based upon milestones. The Project Manager will work closely with each team to determine the required timing for the release of funds, portions of which may be contingent upon achievement of milestones. Note that awardees must procure all institutional approvals (e.g., IACUC, IRB) necessary to conduct the work as outlined in the work plan before funds are distributed. The Project Manager will also work with College fiscal teams to set up college internal accounts for awards as appropriate

Allowed Use of Funds

  • Relevant supply purchases
  • Third Party contracted services

Unapproved Use of Funds

  • Faculty/inventor’s salary
  • Travel
  • Students
  • Gift accounts
  • Indirect costs
  • Laptop/computer
  • Major equipment


Awardees must submit a 3-month and, if appropriate, a 6-month report outlining the work that has been done, due within 30 days of the end of the respective period. Reports should include:

  • Results obtained to date
  • Relevance of the results to commercialization objectives

Awardees who fail to provide a Final Report shall be ineligible for further funding and all charges will be transferred to the PI’s department, negated only by the submission of a Final Report.

The Process

The Accelerator Award program consists of proposal submission, committee review, invitation of finalists to present the proposals, selection of awardees, connection of awardees with external industry experts, final assessment and approval of budgets, release of funding to participating college, and reporting of results at two intervals. Award competitions will be announced up to four times each year.

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Proposal Submission

Submission of an application for this cycle can be made through Innovate and must be received by 10 p.m. October 26, 2018. Applications consist of an Accelerator Award cover sheet, work plan, and budget (see below). Licensing Managers at the TCO are available to assist with the application and support the inventors throughout the process.


Committee Review

The Accelerator Awards Review Committee is comprised of venture capital, business, and industry experts who will review and evaluate submissions. Technologies will be selected based upon commercial potential, impact of funding, budget, and timeline requirements.


Finalist Presentations

After initial review, the Committee will select finalists and offer each the opportunity to present his or her application in person.  Finalists may present as an individual or a team. A proxy from the Ohio State community may present on behalf of the inventor.


Selection of Awardees

The Committee will discuss finalists’ technologies after all presentations are made. Selection of awardees is not limited to a certain number of applicants or a predetermined award budget for the cycle. The Committee is seeking the technologies with the most promising commercialization potential. Following the decision of the Committee, applicants shall be notified of their award status. Applicants who do not receive an award may reapply for a subsequent funding cycle if they wish to be reconsidered.


Project Team

Once awardees are selected, each is required to assemble a project team to enhance the probability of success. The awardee will be assigned a Project Manager to coordinate timeframes, budget and milestones. Award recipients will also be asked to choose an industry expert to help guide the technology toward a commercial outcome. The Project Manager must approve the industry expert and will help identify an expert if required.


Final Budget Approval

The work plan and proposed budget submitted with the application must be sufficiently detailed to be understood independently of the presentation to the Accelerator Review Committee. The budget must be proposed and used only for permitted services and activities. Please note that the budget section in each application will be examined and may be modified (if appropriate) by the Committee during the review of the applications.