Trask Innovation Fund

Proposal submissions are due: 

  • 3rd Friday in February 

  • 4th Friday in September

The Purdue Research Foundation-managed Trask Innovation Fund (TIF) is a Purdue University development mechanism to assist faculty with work to further commercial potential of technologies disclosed to the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). Funds are awarded under the advisement of the TIF Advisory Council, which consists of representatives from the Purdue University Office of the Vice President for Research, Purdue Faculty, Purdue Research Foundation and local business community.

The Fund objective is to support short-term projects that will enhance commercial value of Purdue University intellectual property assets. Financial support is designed to provide an individual technology portfolio up to $50,000 for a period of six months.

The Fund does not support basic research. The Fund supports demonstrative commercial development work reducing an invention to practice, providing critical commercial relevant data or developing working prototypes. All projects must make the technology more commercially marketable. Any royalty income derived from a subsequent license to the TIF-supported technology shall first be used to repay funds, in full, granted under the Trask Innovation Fund.

Application and Evaluation Process

Applicants must submit a 3-5 page application addressing specific commercialization priorities, including details of proposed development project and rationale for the proposed development project achieving the TIF goals. Proposals will be reviewed only after a complete disclosure has been filed with the OTC.

For each award cycle, The TIF Advisory Council will convene approximately one month following the deadline for proposal submission. Applicants that are invited to the TIF Advisory Council meeting must pitch the proposed project to the TIF Advisory Council. Each pitch session will be 10 minutes long with 5-10 minutes for questions. Strict time limits will apply and presenters should assume that the TIF Advisory Council has already read and is familiar with the proposal. The objectives of the pitch session are to provide a forum for the applicant to benefit from the expert advice of the TIF Advisory Council and to provide an opportunity for the applicant to address the questions of the TIF Advisory Council. Applicants are advised to work with the Technology Project Manager from the Office of Technology Commercialization that is managing their disclosure as they prepare for the pitch session.

Each presentation made to the TIF Advisory Council and the TIF Directors will be evaluated, at a minimum, based on the following criteria:

  1. The technology's novelty and need
  2. The market definition
  3. The maturity of the technology
  4. The impact that the requested TIF funding will have on the technology's stage of development
  5. The legal landscape for the technology (i.e., IP position and third-party obligations)
  6. The principal investigator's commitment to commercialization
  7. The experimental design of the proposed project 
  8. Please include the PRF reference number on your proposal. If you need assistance, please contact the Project Manager.

Terms of Award

All project aims and budget funds must be completed/expended within 6 months from the date of award. No extensions of time will be granted, unless extraordinary circumstances can be demonstrated, which must be described in detail in a written request to the TIF directors as soon as timely completion of the project is in question, but no later than 30 days prior to the end of the project term.

Three (3) months into the project, award recipients must meet with the assigned OTC project manager to provide a status on the project. Insufficient progress on a project at this meeting can result in early termination of the TIF award, and return of the Fund monies.

Progress report(s) may be submitted before the six-months completion; however, at a minimum, a final report must be submitted within 30 days of the end of the award period, or an approved extended term if applicable, to the TIF directors. At the end of the project term, all remaining funds will be refunded to the TIF.

Award recipients may reapply in subsequent rounds, up to a maximum of three (3) times, for support of the same technology (e.g., as a second phase, for example), not to exceed an aggregate cap of $150,000 per technology. In order to be eligible for any subsequent request for applications, the final progress report of the previous award(s) on the same technology must have been timely submitted to the TIF Directors. Applications that are directed to a technology that was previously funded will be subject to the full review process and considered in the same pool as first-time TIF award applicants.

Award recipients may be requested to present their findings to the Trask Advisory Council at any time during or after the award period.

All funds provided will be applicable for recovery, in full, as identified costs of development pursuant to Purdue University Intellectual Property Policy I.A.1.

Trask Innovation Proposal Guidelines


Proposals will be reviewed ONLY after a complete disclosure has been filed with the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Proposal Submission Form:

For consideration, please work with your relevant Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Pre-Award Center ( for preparation of submission by Pre-Award staff to the Office of Technology Commercialization.

Proposal Outline:
Detailed below is an outline of the required information needed by the TIF Advisory Council to review your request. Please limit your proposal to 5-6 pages in length excluding the budget.

  1. Title of Project
  2. Background information
    • What is the invention?
    • Why was it created?
    • What need does it address?
    • How does it address the need?
    • What might be claimed in a patent?
  3. Summary of the current state of the technology
  4. Statement of work
    • What will be done with the Trask Innovation Fund Award?
    • Describe the proposed work and timeframe to complete the work.
  5. Regulatory approvals (if applicable) are required if project is funded (Animal & Human Subject, etc.)
  6. Marketing
    • How will this work make the invention or technology more marketable?
    • Are there any companies currently interested in taking license to this technology?
  7. Budget requested by category (include department name and number):
    • Salaries Research Assistant, Graduate Students, etc. (no funds to be used for faculty salary compensation)
    • Fee Remits
    • Supplies (must be itemized)
    • Total Amount Requested
    • No funds to be used for travel

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