Proof of Concept Fund

UTRGV Division of Research is launching the Proof of Concept (POC) Fund program. A POC fund is used to prototype or characterize an early stage technology. The POC fund may be used for reduction to practice of an invention/idea. This step is important for protection and commercialization of the idea.

With this program, the Division of Research aims to facilitate the transformation of technologies developed at UTRGV into products and services that benefit the society. Division of Research hopes to help demonstrate the value of early-stage technologies developed at UTRGV and bridge the funding gap between inventions and their commercialization.

The POC funds are on referral basis only. To be eligible for the POC fund, an invention disclosure form must be submitted to the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). The invention disclosure form can be found here. The Division of Research will evaluate the technology and if selected, will refer the technology for the POC fund. All UTRGV faculty and staff can submit an invention disclosure to OTC and be considered for the POC funding. Inventions in collaboration with other institutions will also be evaluated and considered.

Application Requirements:

The following are the requirements to be considered for the POC fund:

  • Invention Disclosure: Researchers must submit a signed invention disclosure form to OTC.
  • Current Status: Please provide details of the current status of the technology. Identify and specify the advantages of the technology. If this new technology solves an existing problem, please briefly define it. Emphasize any relevant points of novelty and the specific user/customer benefits you believe this novelty provides. 
  • History of Grant Funding: Please provide the history of grant funding used for the technology until now. Also provide details on any grant funding that you will be applying for OR already applied for and not received yet.
  • Proposed Project: Please provide the project details for which the POC fund will be used. Specify the project activities and milestones along with the proposed measures that will be used to determine the accomplishment of the milestones. Provide a timeframe for each milestone and the target date for project completion. Ideally the project time limit should be less that 12 months but it is not a requirement. It is important for the timeframe provided to be reasonable for the proposed project.
  • Proposed Budget: Please summarize how the POC funds will be spent. The POC find should not be used for salary for the researchers. It may be used as support for graduate students or postdocs specifically working on the POC project. The POC funds should only be used for the POC project that is approved by the Division of Research. It should not be used for support of any other project.
  • Anticipated Future Steps: Protection and commercialization of the technology is the primary goal of the POC fund (which can include faculty startups or licensing to outside entity). Please indicate any future plans for the technology. Please specify if the inventors are interested in creating a startup or prefer licensing of the technology by OTC to outside entities.