Office of Technology Management
Department of Pediatrics
The Office of Technology Management

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Texas Ignition Fund Grants Program
University of Texas System

UPDATED: Thank you for your September 15, 2009 submissions! We will let you know if another TIF Grant application round opens in the future! Check back here for updated information.

Sponsored by the UTHSC-Houston Office of Technology Management

The Texas Ignition Fund (TIF), a $2.0M University of Texas System grant program sponsored by the UT System Board of Regents is designed to stimulate commercialization of research discoveries at the 15 UT institutions. The TIF Program is designed to support research by providing early-stage grants for the development and maturation of discoveries into commercializable intellectual property (IP). These grants are designed to help bridge the gap between lab and market.



TIF goals are:

  1. To accelerate the commercial development of a technology that has been created at that institution and is owned by the Board of Regents.
  2. To support early-stage projects that have a clearly defined path to product development with a preference to those amenable for new-start-up creation.
  3. To provide Principal Investigators (PIs) with seed funding to accumulate proof-of-concept, prototype development and/or testing etc. data that may lead to development of IP suitable for licensing to a commercial partner, or as a basis for a new start-up company.
  4. Support a culture of innovation, translation and commercialization of new ideas and technologies on the campuses of the University of Texas institutions.
  5. Nurture viable technologies to commercialization stage.


Eligibility Requirements

PIs must be full-time faculty members at any of the schools, institutes, or centers within The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSCH). Part-time faculty, staff scientists, and postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply. A PI can only be named on one application.


Award Information

Individual Awards – Maximum of $50,000 (estimated a total of 1 to 3 awards to be funded per institution)

Restrictions – faculty salaries, travel, and indirect costs are NOT allowable


Proposal Submission

Download Application

Deadline – September 15, 2009

Submission Process – email PDF file to

Notice of Award – email sent to PI approximately 2 months following appropriate submission cycle. Full Proposal Format Cover page : See Attached

Proposal Body:
Attach a detailed discussion of (maximum length five (5) pages including Application form):

1) ABSTRACT – 100-WORD LIMIT (Layman’s terms).
4) COMMERCIAL MARKET POTENTIAL (i.e. what is the product and what does it do).

Biographical sketches (2-page format) – for PI and co-PIs. Budget page ( Requests will be considered for amounts up to $50K) - Allowable costs include:

  1. 1. Direct costs of supplies, equipment, instrument use fees, and other necessary and allowable expenses required to demonstrate:
    1) Proof of concept,
    2) Reduction to practice, or
    3) Prototype product development. As appropriate, personnel costs (undergraduate and graduate students, post doctoral fellows, technicians or other research staff) required to demonstrate “proof of concept,” “reduction to practice,” or prototype product development or business plan development.
  2. 2. As appropriate, business plan costs (marketing survey, feasibility).
    No indirect costs are allowed. Fringe benefits do not need to be included as part of the budget when requesting non-faculty salary support
Contact Information

(713) 500-3369,


Review Process

Proposals will be initially reviewed by a UTHSC-Houston advisory committee that includes UTHSC-Houston faculty members, staff from the Office of Technology Management and selected external reviewers. The final selection will be made by the UT System Ignition Fund Advisory Board and will include assessment by two selected reviewers.

Review Criteria Successful proposals must be responsive to the goals of the program and meet the requirements listed below. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with an emphasis on commercial potential:

1. The stated purpose of the project must be “Proof of Concept” leading to a commercial application. Preference will be given to proposals with potential to result in formation of a new startup company. Proposals to simply advance research of an idea will not be funded.

2. The Office of Technology Management will use its regional business and capital community contact(s) to document interest in the technology for this section of the review process.  For example, a letter(s) confirming that contact has been made and awareness of the project is established could satisfy this requirement. Please submit any regional business and capital community contact(s) that you are aware of with your application (institutions, industry partners, successful entrepreneurs, angel and venture investors).

3. All TIF proposals will be treated as “Non-confidential” and should be submitted in the form of the TIF Grant Application provided with these instructions, not to exceed seven pages in total length including the background information and the front page application form. Documentation of business and community contacts are listed separately.

4. Expenditures of TIF grant funds must be for eligible costs as outlined above. A detailed line item budget is not required; however, applicants must estimate and describe expected costs.

5. Proposed milestones must be measurable and timely for performance assessment.



Grantees must submit a brief final report summarizing the outcomes of the research on or before fifteen months after funding. Copies of all publications resulting from the grant should be sent to the Office of Technology Management.

Awards may not be transferred to any other institution.