Researcher Services

CoMotion Innovation Fund

Program Overview & Eligibility

A BRIDGE BETWEEN RESEARCH GRANTS AND SEED STAGE INVESTMENT

The CoMotion Innovation Fund is a partnership between CoMotion and the Washington Research Foundation to provide up to $1 million per year for applied research. Our mission is to fund and support projects that have a high chance to have impact but are unlikely to get there without gap funding. The Innovation Fund program is intended to help technologies get across the “valley of death” between the conclusion of academic research grants and the level of development at which they can attract seed stage investment. Seed stage investment could come from commercial investors, but also from investors looking for social rather than commercial impact.

Successful projects have used funds to:

  • create prototypes
  • complete software coding or user interface development
  • initiate Beta testing
  • research customer demand
  • research and validate markets

GET FUNDED AND GET FULL-SCALE SUPPORT FROM A TEAM OF EXPERTS

We award grants of up to $40,000 per project, with an additional $10,000 reserved for business development milestones. In addition, we will pair each team with a skilled CoMotion Advisor.

DISBURSEMENT AND USE OF FUNDS

Funds are awarded to researchers for direct project costs for up to 12 months. Applications are accepted each year in the spring and fall. Following approval, funds are awarded on a milestone-based schedule worked out with your Innovation Manager and the Innovation Investments team. We strongly encourage that you use funds for product development and marketing purposes. No basic research will be funded. UW Principal Investigator salaries are not eligible for funding. Please discuss your proposed budget in advance with the Innovation Fund team or your Innovation Manager to identify other non-fundable expenses.

ELIGIBILITY

  • A proposal must be submitted by a UW Principal Investigator (PI)
  • A PI may submit only one application as PI or Co-PI per round

EVALUATION CRITERIA

A final review committee of CoMotion and WRF staff, senior executives, and local investors will rank projects by market opportunity and likelihood that Innovation Fund funding will influence the probability of the project making a social or commercial impact.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FOLLOW-ON FUNDING

If you previously received an Innovation Fund award from CoMotion, you may submit an application for follow-on funding within up to 2 funding cycles (one year) of your initial award. Please contact the Innovation Investments team ( cmifund@uw.edu ) prior to submitting a Declaration of Intent, as you may be eligible to bypass several steps of the standard application process.