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Proof of Concept Program: Commercialization Gap Grants

Funding innovations and discoveries at the cusp of commercialization that require a final demonstration of their commercial viability.

The Proof of Concept Commercialization Gap Grants (PoC) program was launched in 2011 to advance both the research and public service missions of UC.

The PoC program enhances the university’s research mission through the highly selective identification and funding of compelling projects that advance the university’s position as a leading source of innovation, and provides a public service by supporting the commercialization of discoveries that benefit the California public and the state’s economy by attracting investment, creating jobs and enhancing quality of life.

Past awards:

2013 awards and administration

The request for proposals garnered 96 eligible applications, and many more excellent proposals than could be awarded. Proposed projects were required to be within 12 months of commercialization, and have the intellectual property owned by UC, unencumbered, and available for licensing. The proposals underwent a rigorous two-tiered evaluation by scientific peers and private investors, resulting in the selection of 20 outstanding projects (21%), representing seven UC campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Selected projects were identified as highly innovative, commercially exciting, and likely to benefit California and Californians. The projects span a variety of fields including medicine and medical devices, biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, communications, and electronics. The total UC investment in these projects is $2.75 million.

See the 2012-13 Call for Proposals (pdf)

2013 Selected Projects by Principal Investigator and Title

Lead Investigator Campus Proposed Title
Balandin, Alexander UCR Graphene-Based Thermal Interface Materials and Heat Spreaders
Catton, Ivan UCLA A Novel Thermal Connector
Chan, Jonah UCSF A Binary Indicant of Myelination using Micropillar Arrays (BIMA)
Feldstein, Ariel UCSD Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets for Liver Damage
Gadgil, Ashok UCB Low-Cost Arsenic Remediation for California Groundwater
Ganesan, Anand UCI ALDH Inhibitors as Novel Skin Depigmenting Agents
Giudice, Linda UCSF Diagnosing Endometriosis by Endometrial Biopsy
Kaner, Richard UCLA Next Generation Cutting Tools: Superhard Refractory Borides
Lotz, Jeffrey UCSF Assessment of Musculoskeletal Function Using the Microsoft Kinect
Marcu, Laura UCD Optical Device for intra-operative delineation of tumor margins
Miller, Steve UCSF Deep Sequencing Clinical Analysis Tool for Infectious Disease
Modera, Mark UCD Commercialization of a Tracer Gas Airflow Measurement System
Pan, Tingrui UCD Second Skin: Droplet-Enabled Interfacial Capacitive Sensing
Roy, Shuvo UCSF Silicon Dialyzer Prototype
Soler, Xavier UCSD Oxygen Conserver Device for COPD Therapy
Sretavan, David UCSF High-Throughput Neural Circuit Arrays For CNS Drug Discovery
Theunissen, Frederic UCB Noise Reduction for Hearing Aids
Wang, Yijun UCSD A wireless brain-machine interface for motor rehabilitation
Yashchuk, Valeriy LBNL Test System for Calibration of High-Performance Microscopes
Younis, Bassam UCD Water disinfection with UV light: inventing the wheel

2012 awards

The request for proposals garnered 96 eligible applications, and many more excellent proposals than could be awarded. Proposed projects were required to be within 12 months of commercialization, and have the intellectual property owned by UC, unencumbered, and available for licensing. The proposals underwent a rigorous two-tiered evaluation by scientific peers and private investors, resulting in the selection of 22 outstanding projects (23%), representing six UC campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Selected projects were identified as highly innovative, commercially exciting, and likely to benefit California and Californians. The projects span a variety of fields including medicine and medical devices, biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, communications, and electronics. The total UC investment in these projects is $2.6 million.

2012 Selected Projects by Principal Investigator and Title

Lead Investigator Campus Proposed Title
Abate, Adam UCSF Robust detection and genotyping of CTCs in blood
Brosnan, Robert UCD Pre-Clinical Evaluation of a Novel Inhaled Anesthetic
Chong, Woon-Seng LBNL Back-Side Readout Silicon Photomultiplier
Craik, Charles UCSF In Vivo Diagnostics for Cardiovascular Disease
Demetriou, Michael UCI Glucosamine analogs for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Desai, Tejal UCSF Nanoengineered Thin Film Devices for Ocular Drug Delivery
Ferenc, Daniel UCD Novel Photosensor Technology
Giacomini, Kathleen UCSF Development of Targeted Anti-Cancer Platinum Analogs
Guan, Zhibin UCI Self-healing Multiphase Polymers for Coating Applications
Hua, Yingbo UCR Broadband Full-Duplex Radio
Islam, M. Saif UCD Micro/Nanofabricated Ceramic Blade Arrays for Shaving and Surgery
Jin, Sungho UCSD Solar Absorbers with Ultra-high Performance Selective Coating
Lam, Kit UCD Novel hydrogel for stem cell and cardiomyocyte research
Leach, Kent UCD Injectable cell delivery vehicle for bone repair
Nishimura, Stephen UCSF Antibodies for Fibroinflammatory Lung Disease Detection
Pouliot, Jean UCSF 2D device to test deformable image registration in medicine
Revzin, Alexander UCD Point of Care Blood Analysis Device for TB Diagnosis
Shum, Anthony UCSF An autoantigen biomarker for autoimmune-mediated lung disease
Tseng, Elaine UCSF Proof of Concept of a Novel Transcatheter Aortic Valve
Woo, Youn-Hi LBNL Development Of New DNA Isolation Method
Zhang, Yuegang LBNL Graphene Oxide and Sulfur Nanocomposite Cathode
Zhang, Xiang UCB Plasmonic Nanolaser for Data Comm. & Biomedical Applications

2011 awards

The request for proposals garnered 126 eligible applications, and many more excellent proposals than could be awarded. Proposed projects were required to be within 12 months of commercialization, and have the intellectual property owned by UC, unencumbered, and available for licensing. The proposals underwent a rigorous two-tiered evaluation by scientific peers and private investors, resulting in the selection of 13 outstanding projects (10%), representing seven UC campuses and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Selected projects were identified as highly innovative, commercially exciting, and likely to benefit California and Californians. The projects span a variety of fields including medicine and medical devices, biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, communications, and electronics. The total UC investment in these projects is $2.7 million.

2011 Selected Projects by Principal Investigator and Title

Lead Investigator Campus Proposed Title
Alic, Nikola UCSD Severely Bandwidth Constrained Efficient Communication
Belafsky, Peter UCD Swallow Expansion Device: Phase I Clinical Trial
Binder, Devin UCR Early Optical Detection of Cerebral Edema
Budker, Dmitry UCB Next Generation of Ultra-precise Magnetic Sensors
Chui, Chi On UCLA In Vitro Diagnostic Sensors for Cardiovascular Disease
Cohen, Yoram UCLA Continuous Process for High Recovery Inland Desalination
Evans, James UCB Completely Printable Batteries for Energy Storage
He, Lei UCLA Soft error mitigation for FPGA based systems
Kohn, Walter UCSB Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Correction Devices
Liu, Gao LBNL Conductive Polymer Binder and Silicon Composite Electrode
Piomelli, Daniele UCI A novel treatment for chronic pain
Stott, Jeffrey UCD Epizootic bovine abortion experimental vaccine
Tromberg, Bruce UCI A Handheld Tomographic Laser Breast Scanner (t-LBS)