PROPOSALS DUE SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The LSU LIFT2 Fund was created by the LSU Board of Supervisors in January of 2014 to help “Leverage Innovation for Technology Transfer” across all the campuses of the LSU system. By permanently securing a portion of licensing income for the LSU LIFT2 Fund, LSU has ensured continual reinvestment in new innovation opportunities and affirmed its commitment advancing discoveries to benefit the public. Commercialization of academic innovations through technology transfer further enhances multiple aspects of LSU’s mission and creates new economic opportunity in Louisiana and elsewhere.
A primary objective of technology transfer at LSU, like most other research universities nationwide, is the transition of innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace for public use and benefit. Many discoveries, however, require significant additional development to prove sufficient technical feasibility to attract commercial partners. Funding for this type of research is difficult to obtain from either government or private sources, leaving many promising innovations languishing in a funding gap often referred to as “the valley of death.”
Awards from the LIFT2 Fund will provide LSU’s entrepreneurial and creative faculty with small “proof-of-concept” grants to support further commercialization of innovations, help establish data which can support commercial feasibility of the innovation, and thus reduce the risk for companies interested in licensing it. “Innovations” are defined broadly, to include both creative and artistic works as well as devices, drugs, software, and other more traditional concepts; thus, faculty from all disciplines and all LSU campuses are encouraged to consider an application.
Because there is a desire to expedite the disbursement of the LSU LIFT2 Fund and begin to make rapid changes to the innovation ecosystem across the LSU campuses, this initial phase of the program is being launched as a pilot program. It is expected that lessons learned will be applied to optimize later management of the LSU LIFT2 grant award program, which may result in some changes to the award guidelines and rules. The fundamental principle of moving a concept closer to commercialization, however, will remain the guiding purpose of the LSU LIFT2 Fund.
a. A full time LSU employee employed on any LSU campus, in any discipline, is eligible to submit an application for a LIFT2 Grant if the proposal is to further develop and prove the concepts detailed in an innovation which previously has been disclosed to and is still actively being managed by the respective campus TTO
b. LSU innovators who hold administrative appointments and who also maintain an active research program are eligible to apply for a LIFT2 Grant.
c. LSU innovators who have an active LIFT2 Grant shall not be eligible to apply for an additional LIFT2 Grant until the open award has been completed in accord with all program rules and closed.
d. Proposals for basic research projects that do not further the commercial development of a previously disclosed innovation are not eligible and will not be considered.
e. Any proposal for a project to develop a previously disclosed innovation which is either (i) subject to an unexpired obligation under a university contract, (ii) already licensed or optioned to a company at the time of application for a LIFT2 Grant, or (iii) sponsored by or affiliated with any commercial entity, are not eligible and will not be considered.
f. LSU innovators may submit only one application for a LIFT2 Grant in each award cycle.
3. AWARD DESCRIPTION
In this Round 3 of the LSU LIFT2 Fund, a maximum of $500,000 will be available to support proof-of-concept activities to further prepare innovations for commercialization. There is no guarantee of either the amount of funding available or the number of awards in future grant cycles. Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $50,000, although projects requesting $25,000-$30,000 are strongly encouraged.
The application for a LIFT2 Grant should be submitted electronically by the Principal Investigator, along with all required documentation. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that the appropriate campus sponsored programs officers and any other required campus officials have approved the proposal prior to submission.
Allowable costs include supplies, equipment, travel, and professional services which can be justified as necessary for further support of commercialization. Unallowable budget items include F&A costs and graduate student tuition remission. Because the LIFT2 funds are intended to support further commercialization of an innovation through experimental proof of concept, requests for salary and associated fringe support, whether for the principal investigator, a research associate, a graduate student, or other personnel, will decrease the attractiveness of the application and may result in a lower score, depending on the particular circumstances of a proposed project. All budgets must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate campus sponsored programs office prior to submission of the application by the principal investigator.
Payment will be made in two installments. Upon project initiation through execution of a Letter Agreement for LIFT2 Awards, 85% of funds awarded will be transferred to a university account; the remainder will be transferred upon submission of the required mid-term reports. Any unexpended funds remaining at the time of project completion shall be returned to the LSU LIFT2 Fund.
4. LIFT2 Grant Proposal Scoring System
TECHNICAL MERIT- 30 points Maximum
COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITY- 50 points Maximum
PRIORITY POINTS- 20 points Maximum
POTENTIAL OVERALL TOTAL SCORE: 100 points
Application Format: use web-based form for submission
PLEASE REVIEW THE RFP (GUIDELINES)