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Since 2005, 133 projects have benefited from more than $6.5 million in Commercialization Gap Funds.

Program Overview & Eligibility:

CGF Represents a Bridge Between Research Grants and Seed Stage Investment

 We help turn your research into a marketplace reality. The Commercialization Gap Fund (CGF) is a partnership between the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) and the Washington Research Foundation to provide up to $1 million per year of funding for applied research. Our mission is to fund and support projects that have a high chance of being commercialized but that are not likely to get there without gap funding. The CGF 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.

Seeking a Commitment to Commercialization

C4C seeks researchers who are committed to commercializing their projects, working in a team approach, and establishing a long-term relationship with C4C to realize this goal.

Successful projects have used funds to:

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

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 help assemble a complete support team of business, IP, technical, and startup experts to increase the likelihood that your project will be successful. These services and resources from C4C, the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Washington Research Foundation, convey at least another $50K in value.

Your team will include the following members:

  • C4C Technology Manager—to provide project management support and bring in key resources
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) or New Ventures Mentor (NVM)
  • C4C Patent Portfolio Manager—to provide strategic advice regarding patent strategies and to conduct patent landscape analyses
  • CGF MBA Fellow—to assist with additional market research and commercialization assessments

Funds are awarded to researchers for direct project costs spanning up to 12 months. Applications are accepted twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Disbursement and Use of Funds

Following approval, funds will be awarded on a milestone-based schedule to be worked out with your Technology Manager and the New Ventures team. We strongly encourage funds to be used for product development and marketing purposes. No basic research will be funded. UW Principal Investigator salaries are not eligible for CGF funding. Please discuss your proposed budget in advance with the C4C New Ventures team and your Technology Manager to identify other non-fundable expenses.


  • A proposal must be submitted by a UW Principal Investigator (PI)
  • The technology must have been disclosed to UW C4C and be managed by UW C4C
  • A PI cannot have a simultaneous Royalty Research Fund award for the same project
  • A PI may submit only one application as PI or Co-PI per round

Evaluation Criteria

A final review committee of C4C and WRF staff, senior executives, and venture capitalists will rank projects by market opportunity and likelihood that CGF funding will influence the probability of commercial success. Successful projects may eliminate a risk factor or prove a critical concept.

Related Links

 Additional commercialization funding from grants, awards, and competitions are available to UW researchers and students. See Other Funding Resources.