Innovation Seed Grant Competition 2016:
Big Ideas through Small Technology
The Innovation Seed Grant Competition is designed to encourage the Philadelphia area’s brightest minds to design or prototype innovative technology through the usage of nanotechnology related tools and equipment.
Prizes include $5,000 – $10,000 worth of laboratory/equipment time to be used at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Prize amounts will be based on the number of hours proposed for the project and the normal Fee structure used to reserve equipment at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology.
Winners will also have the ability to present their ideas to a group of Venture Capitalists during the annual Singh Center for Nanotechnology’s User Conference in the fall of 2016.
This competition is open to students, individuals and small companies (less than 50 people).
- Proposal Submission Deadline – April 15th by midnight
- Winners Announced – April 22nd
- Winner Presentations to Venture Capitalists – Oct 2016
- Projects may include both new technology and improvements to existing technology
- Prizes can ONLY be used at the Singh Center for lab/equipment time
- Prizes can be used for both direct facility usage by awardee, with initial equipment training and consultation provided by Singh Center Staff
- Prizes must be used during the 2016 Calendar year
A Judging Panel with expertise in engineering, science, computing, and business, will use the following criteria in their evaluations:
- Innovation. How novel is the idea? How does the solution compare to other concepts addressing the same problem?
- Technical Feasibility. How technical viable is the idea? Do the number of work hours proposed make sense given the proposed solution?
- Marketability. What is the current demand for this type of innovation?
- Market Size. How big of a market is there for this innovation?
- Societal Impact. How would this innovation impact society? Could this lead to other technical breakthroughs?
- Probability of Success. Does the submitting Individual or Team have the necessary skills and drive to bring this innovation to market?
- Impact of Grant Funding. How much of an impact will the award provide to the submitting individual or group in bringing the innovation to fruition?
The Proposal must be submitted as a PDF or MS Word File of no more than 3 pages.
The three-page proposal should include the following:
- Description of the idea and an explanation as to why it is new.
- Motivation and societal impact of idea.
- Technical feasibility of the idea.
- Usage of Singh Equipment and an estimation of the number of hours required to complete the project.
- Description of Background Intellectual Property required, if applicable.
- Business Case, including the market potential and commercial viability of the project. For projects focused on societal change, please provide a description of the potential impact on society.
How to Enter
Apply online at http://www.nano.upenn.edu/seed-grant-competition/. There you will be asked to fill out a quick application and will be able to upload a copy of your proposal.
Confidentiality, Intellectual Property and Ownership
All participants are responsible for keeping their intellectual property and all other confidential information confidential. Please refrain from submitting any confidential information.
For University of Pennsylvania Applicants Only
Applicants are responsible to determine if any part of their project ideas constitutes Penn IP and if so, disclose it to Penn Center for Innovation (PCI).
Should any technology underlying a project idea participating in the Site be identified as Penn-owned intellectual property (IP), it will be treated in accordance with Penn’s policies governing IP including the Penn Patent Policy. With respect to any project idea that does not contain Penn-owned IP according to the Penn Patent Policy, the Applicants will be free to pursue the development of that project idea on their own time and at their own expense with no further obligation to the Penn Site. However, all commercialization activities including the formation of a company whether through Penn services or outside, will be subject to compliance with the Penn Patent Policy and Conflict of Interest Policies. Further, participation in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition does not confer any ownership or any rights to technology or concept, which are identified as Penn-owned IP. Selection to participate in this program does not grant to the Applicant a license to the technology.
Limitation of Liability
THIS Innovation Seed Grant Competition AND ANY ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES THAT ARE OR MAY BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARE PROVIDED “AS IS.” PENN MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, CONDITIONS, OR REPRESENTATIONS (EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ORAL OR WRITTEN), WITH RESPECT TO THE Innovation Seed Grant Competition, DELIVERABLES, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INCLUDING, AS TO CONDITION OF TITLE, NONINFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILTIY, OR FITNESS OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PUPOSE. PENN WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO ANY PARTICIPANT/TEAM MEMBER, INCLUDING MENTORS, EXTERNAL REVIEWERS, LECTURERS, INSTRUCTORS OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO DATA, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, LOSS OF COPYRIGHT PROTECTION, OR OTHER ECONOMIC DAMAGE), WHETHER ARISING IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER PENN WAS ADVISED, HAD OTHER REASON TO KNOW, SHOULD HAVE ANTICIPATED, OR IN FACT KNEW OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PARAGRAPH ARE INDEPENDENT OF, SEVERABLE FROM, AND TO BE ENFORCED INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER ENFORCEABLE OR UNENFORCEABLE PROVISION HEREOF.
Waiver and Consent
By participating in this Innovation Seed Grant Competition each Applicant agrees as follows: I recognize, acknowledge and understand that participating in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition carries with it certain inherent risks that cannot be eliminated, including the risk of loss of patent, trade secret or other IP protection for a project idea. Notwithstanding the risks, which I recognize and accept, and in consideration of being permitted to participate in any way in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition, I , for myself, my heirs, personal representatives or assigns, do hereby waive, release and discharge the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and its trustees, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims for personal injury, accidents or illness (including death), and property damage, arising in any manner out of my participation in the Innovation Seed Grant Competition, including transportation to and from any activities associated with the Innovation Seed Grant Competition. I further acknowledge that the risks stated herein are not intended to be all inclusive and that my participation is voluntary and that I knowingly and voluntarily assume all risks known or unknown. I am eighteen (18) years of age or older.
The Singh Center for Nanotechnology gratefully acknowledges the National Science Foundation’s NNCI program through NSF Grant Award No.15-519 for its contributions towards this effort.