The Ohio Development Services Agency has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the first round of the 2014 Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund (TVSF). The program RFP is available here. Additional TVSF rounds are expected throughout 2014.
The goal of the TVSF is to create economic growth in Ohio based on start-up companies commercializing technologies developed by Ohio institutions of higher education, other Ohio not-for-profit research institutions and federal labs located in Ohio. The TVSF has been designed to (a) support protected technologies needing known validation that will directly impact and enhance their commercial viability and ability to support a start-up company and (b) support Ohio start-up and young companies that license these proven technologies from Ohio research institutions or federal labs.
The TVSF provides for two separate funding mechanisms:
- Phase 1 (Technology Validation) is to (a) generate the proof needed to move a technology to the point that it is either ready to be licensed by an Ohio start-up company or otherwise deemed unfeasible for commercialization and (b) perform fund validation activities, such as prototyping, demonstrations, and assessment of critical failure points in subsequent development, scale-up, and commercialization to generate proof of the technology. Phase 1 eligible lead applicants are Ohio institutions of higher education or other Ohio not-for-profit research institutions, and are required to have a dedicated Technology Transfer Office.
- Phase 2 (Start-Up Funds) is to (a) support start-up companies that have licensed technology developed at Ohio research institutions or federal labs in Ohio during the critical early life of the company and accelerate the time to market of this technology; (b) generate the proof needed to either commercialize the technology or move it to the point where additional funds needed for commercialization can be raised; and (c) fund activities to generate proof of the technology, such as beta prototype development and deployment to potential customers for evaluation and business development. Phase 2 eligible lead applicants are Ohio start-ups and young, emerging companies that will execute an exclusive license with the owner of the technology that has been developed at an Ohio institution of higher education, not-for-profit research institution or at a federal lab located in Ohio for a technology within the next nine months from the date of the Phase 2 application.
ODSA anticipates awarding up to $3 million each for TVSF Phases 1 and 2. Phase 1 awards may be up to $50,000 for each proposed technology, and requires a cash cost share commitment of at least one dollar for every TVSF dollar requested. Phase 2 awards may be up to $100,000 for each project, and cost share is not required.
ODSA is accepting written questions through April 7; Phase 1 Technology Transfer Office qualification documents are due by April 7; both Phase 1 and Phase 2 proposals are due by April 16; and awards are expected to be determined by the Third Frontier Commission in June 2014.