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2021 UTRF Technology Maturation Grant – Call for Submissions


The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) is announcing a call for submissions for its 13th annual maturation program. The UTRF Technology Maturation Grant aims to assist innovators in advancing new technologies on the path to market by awarding up to $15,000 in direct costs to the highest ranking proposals. The program is open to researchers, faculty, staff, and students across all University of Tennessee campuses and institutes. All proposals are due to your designated campus research office by 5:00 p.m., October 23, 2020.

Applicants must complete and submit the official UTRF Technology Maturation Grant Proposal form.


  • Open to all UT researchers, faculty, staff and students at all campuses and institutes.
  • Projects must be related to an existing UT invention disclosure, OR a proposal can be accompanied by a new UT invention/creation disclosure. (Visit idea.tennessee.edu to submit a new invention disclosure.)
  • All proposals should clearly respond to the four questions.
  • Proposals that only generate basic research results should not be submitted.

Proposal Requirements

  • Please read the application overview and complete the UTRF Technology Maturation Grant Proposal form. Other forms of submission will not be accepted.
  • The proposal template is limited to two pages, and one page of references and one page of figures may be included as appendices. The complete proposal package must not exceed four pages. No bio or CV should be included.
  • The proposal should be received by the campus-specific research office (through CayuseSP, Evisions, etc.) by 5:00 p.m., October 23, 2020. Do not submit directly to UTRF.

Judging Criteria

A panel of technical and business experts from inside and outside of the university will rank-order projects based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of a Path for Commercial Development
  • Market Potential
  • Stage of Development

Examples of Eligible Projects

Examples of eligible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Establishment of application or proof-of-concept.
  • Prototype development.
  • Addressing specific questions or suggested improvements from potential licensees.
  • Meaningfully improving intellectual property related to a technology.

Important Dates

Proposal receipt by campus research office Oct. 23, 2020, at 5 p.m.
Awards announced on or before Dec. 4, 2020
Project start date Jan. 8, 2021
Project completion date Oct. 1, 2021
Final report due Oct. 29, 2021


Printable PDFs:

Application Overview

UTRF Technology Maturation Grant Proposal 

Past Winners

During the program’s past 12 years, more than $1 million in grants have been awarded to more than 100 projects.