The intent of the program is to provide seed funding to researchers to help position them for larger and longer-term investment, such as major grants from federal, state, and private sponsors. It is also a goal of the program to help create partnerships with industry that leverage UMass faculty effort and expertise to make Massachusetts companies, industries and clusters more competitive and robust.
Resources from the fund may specifically be used to support faculty release time, sabbaticals, travel, hiring of project staff or consultants, and other such expenses associated with developing major new S&T initiatives. These funds are not of the scale or intended to be used as a direct cash match for grants programs (although they may contribute to cost sharing). They are also not intended to support technology development (e.g., prototyping, proof of concept activities). Both the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) and the Mass Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) operate modest “gap” funds to which UMass faculty can apply for this type of assistants.
Criteria for Awards:
- High quality science and technology
- Potential for leveraging substantial outside funding (federal, state, industry)
- Collaboration among UMass campuses and/or with other Massachusetts academic and research institutions
- Collaboration with Massachusetts industry and potential economic impact on the state
- The presence of strong project leadership (both faculty and staff/administrative as appropriate – including the use of external consultants)
- The endorsement of the chancellor(s) and evidence of campus commitment to the proposed initiative (including financial support)
Each year the fund is available, the Request for Concept Papers and schedule are sent to each campus via the chancellor or Chief Research Officer’s Office for campus distribution. Announcements of awards are made on or around June 1st.