BME Curricular innovation

President's Innovation Fund

This program aims to build on the strong tradition of fundamental research at The City College of New York to fuel innovations that would be accessible to the broader community as products, technologies, physical devices, or computer applications with commercial potential. These funds are to be utilized to facilitate the development of such innovations for which the scientific/technological bases have already been established.

  • Posted Date: December 15, 2023
  • Application materials available: February 1, 2024
  • Applications Due: April 1, 2024
  • Awards Announcement: May 15, 2024

Review and Funding

All proposals will be reviewed by an internal committee (President’s Innovation Fund Committee, PIFC) comprising of several eminent CCNY faculty members. Awards are at the discretion of the President based on the recommendations of the PIFC. It is expected that 1 (up to $50,000), but no more than 2 (up to $25,000 each) awards will be made each year. No awards will be made in a given year if none of the submitted proposals are deemed to be sufficiently innovative or impactful.

The membership of the PIFC are listed below:

Doug Adams
Sanjoy Banerjee
Kevin Gardner
Ranajet Ghose
David Jeruzalmi
Dee Dee Mozeleski
Yingli Tian


This program is open to all full-time faculty. Early career faculty members who have already established their independent research programs as evidenced through published work and substantial external funding will be given priority. Additional criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • This funding mechanism is not intended for basic research. It is meant to fund a demonstrated idea/process/product that has commercial potential. The application will require demonstration of a proof of concept, with priority going to demonstrations closer to application (e.g., cellular efficacy of a small molecule inhibitor prioritized over in vitro binding).
  • This mechanism is designed to fund a specific milestone for commercialization e.g., building of a prototype or expanding the efficacy of drug-like molecule in multiple cell lines.
  • While disclosure of the invention is not required at the time of application, disclosure to CUNY’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) is required before the funds are made available.
  • This mechanism may be used to fund research staff, students, and supplies. PI salaries, summer or academic, cannot be supported through these funds. These funds may also be used for a variety of costs towards commercialization e.g., costs of patent applications that are not covered by other sources or rental costs for innovation cluster workspaces.       

Review Criteria

Each proposal will receive a numerical score (a maximum of 25 points) based on the 5 criteria below. This score will be a major, but not the only, driver of funding. Note that the PIFC serves in an advisory capacity, and final funding decisions are at the discretion of the President based on the priorities of the College. 

Criterion 1: Significance and Societal Impact

If successfully completed, what will be the overall societal impact of the project? How will it address an existing or expected societal need? (2 points)

Criterion 2: Team.

Does the team have the requisite expertise to successfully execute the project and drive it to commercial success? (5 points)

Criterion 3: Intellectual property.

What is the status of Intellectual Property (IP) for this proposal? Do patents already exist? Have patents been filed already? Have invention disclosures been submitted? Note that, if a project is funded, no funds will be made available before disclosure of the invention to CUNY’s TCO. (3 points) 

Criterion 4: Feasibility.

This mechanism is not meant to fund basic research. The underlying scientific principles or technology should already be established e.g., through scientific publications or substantial preliminary data. The reviewers will evaluate whether the project plan is appropriate and if the timelines and milestones proposed are feasible? (10 points) 

Criterion 5: Commercial potential.

Is there a commercially reasonable path to market entry of the first product? What is the expected timeframe for the product to reach the market (in years)? What is the commercialization stage? (5 points)

Last Updated: 12/13/2023 20:09