Applied Research for Commercialization of Innovation
Through funds provided by the Mike Loya Commercialization Fellows endowment, the Center supports research and development projects that hold the potential for commercializing UTEP discoveries, innovations, and inventions.
The purpose of the program is to support research and development initiatives in the College of Engineering, particularly in partnership with an external organization (public or private, academic or industry). Past seed-funding projects include, among others, "RO concentrate minimization and sustainable utilization of by-product solids," "Forming and testing structural building materials made from agricultural waste products," and "Integrated power sources for consumer electronics technology."
Supported projects will receive a semester's fellowship for a graduate student in Engineering.
The lead faculty member must be in the College of Engineering and eligible to be a PI.
- The project's alignment with the strategic research directions of the College
- Demonstration that the project will further enhance the research portfolio of the College
- Likelihood of return on investment through a third-party or other commercialization
- Level of matching support from partnering organizations
- Adequacy of deliverables (e.g., major proposal submitted or business plan)
- Soundness of experimental design and technical approach to the problem
- Number and success of projects previously supported by the Fund
- The program is administered by the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce on behalf of the College of Engineering.
- Applications are due annually. Up to one project will be funded per semester. Proposals for spring semester are due October 31, and proposals for fall funding are due June 30.
- Project length will be one semester, with deliverables due one month after end of project
- The project's final report should include evaluation of the measurable endpoints for feasibility, the project's business plan, a description of the project's intellectual property and its protection, and the status of the project's commercialization.
- Proposals from a previously funded faculty member will not be considered until a satisfactory project final report has been submitted.
- Evaluation of proposals will be conducted by an ad-hoc advisory committee, chaired by the co-director of the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, which will make recommendations to the Dean.
- The proposal is limited to three pages plus letters of commitment.
- The proposal should include:
- Title, personnel, and organizations involved.
- Project summary, specific aims.
- Project background and significance, including market assessment, if applicable.
- Methods including specific measurable endpoints for feasibility.
- Specific plans for further funding/commercialization.
- Discussion of intellectual property issues, if applicable.
Proposals should be submitted through here
Keys to Success
Successful proposals in the past have explicitly addressed each of the evaluation criteria. Thus in addressing the criterion of matching funds, successful proposals have included (a) discussion in the proposal of working with partnering organizations, and (b) letter(s) of support indicating commitment to match the Loya funding. For the criterion of adequacy of deliverables, successful proposals have included concrete descriptions of what the project is intended to achieve; note that the Fund's guidelines, in the “Administration” section, indicate that the proposal should include “Methods including specific measurable endpoints for feasibility.” For the criterion of appropriate budget, successful proposals have provided a budget that includes not only the Loya funding but also the matching funding. Finally, for the proposal's budget justification, successful proposals have included a concrete explanation of what the project's personnel will actually do.