Funding Opportunites

Funding Opportunities

Commonwealth of Virginia

Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF)

Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) offers funding to Virginia’s public research colleges and universities to support their technology translation and commercialization efforts. Grants range from up to $100,000 to $300,000 across three tiers, with each tier supporting a more advanced stage of commercialization and technology readiness level (TRL). Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and awards will be made throughout the year. The turnaround time for a typical application is expected to be 90 days.


  • Virginia public or private institution of higher education or its associated intellectual property foundation that adopts a policy regarding the ownership, protection, assignment, and use of intellectual property pursuant to Code of Virginia, Section 23.1-1303
  • Federal research facility located in Virginia.
  • University research consortium that includes Virginia College and University member institutions
  • Other nonprofit research institutions located in Virginia whose purpose includes performing basic and/or applied scientific research.
  • Technology addresses one of the following targeted industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agriculture, Autonomous systems, Communications, Cybersecurity, and cyber-physical systems, Energy, Environment, IT (includes data science and analytics), Life and Health Sciences, Modeling and simulation, Nuclear Physics, Transportation.
  • Received no more than two CCF higher ed awards for the proposed project; awards received under the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) do not count against this cap.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

VIPC’s Federal Funding Assistance Programs identify and accelerate opportunities for Virginia’s small technology businesses to obtain SBIR, STTR, and other government contracts. These programs provide guidance, direction, training, and valuable resources to enhance the competitiveness of SBIR/STTR proposal strategies.VIPC is the lead organization in Virginia for SBIR/STTR support. VIPC’s Federal Funding Assistance Program works to support Virginia’s early stage technology firms in their efforts to learn about and apply for federal SBIR and STTR awards. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants provide $150K to $1.5M to high risk, high payoff R&D that supports the missions of the 11 participating federal agencies. Virginia ranks 3rd in the US in awards with over $130+M in SBIR/STTR funding in 2017. VIPC’s Federal Funding Assistance Program works with over 250 start-ups, university researchers, and young technology firms each year to educate, mentor, train, and support SBIR/STTR applications. 
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National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Translational Impacts (TI) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.


Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Academic / Research U.S. institutions; includes universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the United States, acting on behalf of their faculty members.
  • Public or Non-profit, Non-academic U.S. organizations located in the United States that are directly associated with technology transfer activities (“Technology Transfer Organizations”).
  • Non-profit U.S. organizations located in the United States that partner with an institution of higher education, or
  • A U.S. consortium of 2 or more of the organizations described above.
  • Technology Transfer Organizations interested in submitting proposals to PFI are strongly encouraged to partner with an Academic / Research U.S. institution to strengthen the technical component of their projects.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR and STTR enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated, and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
Central to the STTR program is the partnership between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The STTR program requires the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR’s most important role is to bridge the gap between the performance of basic science and the commercialization of resulting innovations.


Only United States small businesses are eligible to participate in the SBIR/STTR programs. A small business must meet the eligibility requirements set forth in 13 CFR 121.702 “What size and eligibility standards are applicable to the SBIR and STTR programs?” at the time of Phase I and II awards, which specify the following criteria:

  1. Organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States
  2. More than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States, or by other small business concerns that are each more than 50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States; and
  3. No more than 500 employees, including affiliates

For SBIR awards from agencies using the authority under 15 U.S.C. 638(dd)(1), an awardee may be owned and controlled by more than one VC, hedge fund, or private equity firm so long as no one such firm owns a majority of the stock.
Phase I awardees with multiple prior awards must meet the benchmark requirements for progress toward commercialization.

For STTR, the partnering nonprofit research institution must also meet certain eligibility criteria:

  • Located in the US
  • Meet one of three definitions:
  • Nonprofit college or university
  • Domestic nonprofit research organization
  • Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

STTR differs from SBIR in three important aspects:

  1. The small business awardee and its partnering institution are required to establish an intellectual property agreement detailing the allocation of intellectual property rights and rights to carry out follow-on research, development, or commercialization activities.
  2. STTR requires that the small business perform at least 40% of the R&D and a single partnering research institution perform at least 30% of the R&D.
  3. The STTR program allows the Principal Investigator to be primarily employed by the partnering research institution.

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Managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, is an E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget.

The system makes it faster, easier, and more cost-effective for grant applicants to interact electronically with federal grant-making agencies. It also provides the following key benefits, among many others, to the grant community.

  • Helping the grant community learn more about available opportunities.
  • Facilitating interaction with the federal government.
  • Simplifying the grant application process to save applicants costs, time, and hassle.
  • Making it easier to research and find federal grant opportunities.
  • Making electronic grant application processing easier.
  • Providing a secure and reliable source to apply for federal grants.

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