The CNSI SEED-TECH Grants provide funding to support a demonstration of commercial value and/or commercial viability for UCSB technology, and to develop the technology towards a marketable outcome. Ultimately the SEED-TECH grants should enable one or more of the following:

  1. A spin-out company
  2. A new or expanded corporate sponsored research agreement
  3. A licensing deal for intellectual property

Application Process

Application Deadline: April 3, 2020

Prior to submitting a SEED-TECH proposal, PI’s should obtain feedback on the commercial translation potential and direction from either external advisors or through a customer discovery program, such as NSF I-Corps. External advisors should be either working in the relevant industry or be professionally investing in similar companies, and should understand the commercial landscape for technology in the relevant markets. Academics from other universities are not typically considered external advisors unless they have demonstrated significant industry experience within the relevant market sector. Including a letter of support from the external advisor as part of the proposal submission is highly encouraged.

Applications should be submitted online prior to the published deadline and include the following components:

1. Two-Three Page Project Summary and Description

Project descriptions should be concise and detail:

  • The external feedback and how the project addresses those inputs
  • Targeted outcome for the grant
  • Scope of work – what will be developed and how it will be developed
  • Timeline and quarterly milestones
  • Any support letters should be attached at the end of the Project Summary and Description file

2. One-Page Budget

3. Two-Page NSF or NIH-style CVs for the Lead PI and Co-PIs.


Potential applicants for CNSI SEED-TECH Grants are strongly encouraged to first consult with Tal Margalith (CNSI Executive Director for Technology) or Sherylle Mills Englander at the Office of Technology and Industry Alliances (TIA) before preparing and submitting a proposal.


SEED-TECH funding is pre-commercial and is targeted at UCSB research faculty. Existing companies are not eligible to apply to the SEED-TECH program.

These awards can support direct costs of up to $50,000 over a period of 12 months. Up to 2 grants may be awarded in this round.

Please note that prior engagement with CNSI is not a prerequisite for applying for a CNSI SEED-TECH Grant.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee according to the following criteria:

  1. Commercial and technical merit
  2. Potential impact of the funding
  3. Capabilities of the PI(s) 

Funding decisions will be announced by April 27, 2020.

The anticipated award start date is May 1, 2020.

Reporting Requirements

Progress will be assessed via a combination of meetings and written reports.

Future funding is contingent upon the successful completion of proposed milestones and approval of required reports.