Accelerator Awards Eligibility and Requirements

Here are some things to consider when thinking about applying for an Accelerator Award.

Program Eligibility 

The Accelerator Awards are not intended to fund basic lab research and discovery exploration efforts. Successful projects are commercially focused, have laboratory scale proof-of-concept and are primed for validation and de-risking studies performed by external independent third-party service providers. Project must also engage with external industry and subject matter experts during the application to inform strategy and creation of commercially relevant milestones. 

After technologies have demonstrated laboratory proof-of-concept and have moved beyond traditional funding sources, the next step is to perform external validation, which is critical to demonstrate commercial viability, practical use of the technology, and prepare the innovation for technology transfer.

All proposals must fall within one of the State of Ohio’s technology focus areas: software/information technology; biomedical/life sciences; advanced materials; sensors; energy; or advanced manufacturing. 

Technologies with industry sponsorship, research grant support, investment partners or technologies that are the subject of a TVSF Phase 2 award are ineligible for Accelerator Awards funding. 

Ohio State Licensing Managers are a valuable resource in the Accelerator Award process. It is the applicant’s responsibility to reach out to find out if your technology is at the right stage for an award and for help in the process. Make sure to do this at least 30 days before the full application submission date.  


Intellectual Property Requirements 

Pre-proposal - The technology must be disclosed by submitting an invention disclosure through Innovate before the pre-proposal deadline and be under active management by the assigned technology licensing manager. 

Full application - Intellectual property (IP) protection, defined as patent pending or patent issued, must be in place prior to the full application deadline. Copyrighted materials, including software, are eligible if OSIF has the right to commercialize the copyrighted materials via an exclusive license agreement. If the technology is jointly owned with another academic institution, OSIF must be designated as the lead institution in commercializing the technology under a fully-executed inter-institutional agreement. 

Intellectual property rights must not be encumbered by any prior obligation, such as an industry-sponsored research agreement, consultant agreement, option agreement or license agreement. 


Principal Investigator + Team Requirements 

The principal investigator (PI) must be Ohio State faculty or staff with an appointment that allows them to serve as PI on an externally-sponsored research project. Post-docs and Ohio State staff who are co-inventors for the technology are eligible to apply as co-PIs. 

One application as PI or co-PI per application cycle may be submitted. A PI may only have one Accelerator Award project at a time.  


Use of Funds 

Funds must be used to perform validation activities of technologies that have already demonstrated proof-of-concept when capital from investment partners has not yet been secured. Given the technology transfer goals of the Accelerator Awards program, 75% of project expenditures must be spent with independent third-party service providers. Utilizing third-party industry expertise is crucial to de-risk and validate technologies, making them more attractive for commercialization and add-on funding. If you need help sourcing these vendors, please reach out to us at

 A maximum of 25% of the total project budget may be allocated to performing work within the PI’s lab – including personnel costs and materials and supplies.

Examples of activities:

   Too early for award          Appropriate for award   Too advanced for an award     
  • Basic science research
  • Generate laboratory-scale proof of concept
  • Research customer demand
  • Prototype development
  • Demonstration and assessment of critical failure points in subsequent development
  • Optimization studies
  • Scale up pilot studies and commercialization
  • Validate markets and customer demand
  • Beta prototype development
  • Deployment of beta prototype to potential customers for testing and evaluation
  • Business development activities
  • Above appropriate for TVSF Phase 2


Allowable budget expenditures include: salary and fringe benefits for non-faculty project personnel, purchased services, and supplies. Equipment may be requested, but please contact the program before submitting an application to enquire about eligibility. See the Accelerator Awards RFP for details about allowable expenses.

If you have questions about the Accelerator Awards, visit the FAQ or connect by email at