Philadelphia’s University City Science Center in efforts to accelerate technology commercialization, recently opened applications for the fifth round of its QED Proof-of-Concept Program. The QED program is the country’s first multi-institutional proof-of-concept funding program for the life sciences and is open to academic investigators developing medical technologies with commercial potential.
The QED program enables researchers at 21 universities and research institutions to have the chance to compete for funding to translate life science projects and digital health technologies into new products. Technologies may include therapeutics, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, imaging agents, biomaterials, research, and software-enabled tools.
In addition, a special topic is being offered on digital technologies. During this fifth round, QED is encouraging the submission of digital health technologies and is dedicating up to two of the total awards for such projects. These technologies may include bioinformatics, mobile applications, electronic records, imaging platforms, educational tools, and software-embedded devices. For these projects, the amount of each award will be up to $50,000 in cash matched by the institution.
Selected investigators receive guidance from members of the region’s entrepreneurial community working with them to develop project proposals that answer critical market questions. Feedback is offered by potential investors and industry licensees and up to four of the most promising proposals will be selected to receive continued guidance and up to $200,000 in funding per project.
Participation in the QED Program begins with the submission of a White Paper Application, a brief document outlining key elements of the technology and commercial potential. Projects will be selected as finalists, and Principal Investigators (PI) will be matched with Business Advisors.
The PI and Business Advisors along with the Technology Transfer Office at the PIs institution will work together over the ensuring three months to develop a Proof-of-Concept Plan outlining specific research aims and a commercialization strategy. Project teams will receive feedback on their Proof-of-Concept Plans from investors and industry representatives during a live presentation. The QED Program will directly support up to four projects in this cycle.