Translational Development: Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact

The office of Industry Engagement and Commercial Venturing (IECV) provides and manages translational development capabilities to help solidify proof of technical feasibility and of commercial relevance, both of which can de-risk an idea or discovery and turn it into more concrete product opportunities that are attractive to potential industry partners or startup creators. The Division of Biology and Medicine, in collaboration with IECV, has launched a translational commercial development program, Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII).  BBII manages an academic accelerator fund dedicated to supporting academic biomedical technologies--with potential for high impact--to become well-defined product opportunities that are attractive to  industry partners and investors. ​


BBII achieves its goals by:

  • Funding translational research projects - up to 5 proposals per annual cycle ~$100,000 for 12 months (with possibility of renewal). Projects are focused on validation of technical feasibility and commercial relevance.
  • Advising/coaching – by an independent panel of advisors with broad expertise in evaluation, investment and commercialization of biomedical technologies.
  • Partnering/managing – BBII will identify and retain consultants and contract research organizations to leverage development expertise and provide project management support to ensure focus and timely delivery on project milestones.
  • Exploring commercial development opportunities – As opportunities progress, BBII and IECV will work through established relationships with industry, venture capital, and entrepreneurial start-up resources to find the best path for further development.

Announcement: Now Open! Brown Biomedical "Innovations to Impact" Request for Pre-Proposals
 
BBII awards are intended to develop and add value to biomedical technologies to increase the probability for licensing and commercialization.  It is expected that many projects will require the use of consultants and/or contract research organizations (CROs). BBII will identify and retain consultants and contract research organizations to leverage development expertise and provide project management support to ensure focus and timely delivery on project milestones.

BBII awards may be used to fund projects such as:

  • Identification and/or chemical optimization of small molecule drug candidates
  • Development of therapeutic or diagnostic antibodies or other biologics
  • Evaluation of therapeutic lead candidates in cell based and/or animal models of disease 
  • Identification and validation of a biomarker for efficacy or profiling
  • Development and/or testing of a diagnostic or device prototype
  • Other advanced pre-commercial research

Application process:
Interested applicants should review the BBII Request for Proposals - Full Description and Guidelines (hyperlink to protected Google Doc).  Pre-proposal applications (2 pages plus supplemental materials) are open on UFunds and are due by 5pm on January 11, 2019.  Full proposals (by invitation only- 5 pages plus supplemental materials) are due on March 29, 2019.

Eligibility:
The focus of this program is the biomedical sciences, specifically, identification and development of therapeutics, diagnostics or medical devices. Eligible applicants are faculty whose principal appointment is at Brown University specifically, investigators who are covered by the Brown University IP policy and have an obligation to assign IP to Brown University.  Additionally, faculty employed by Brown-affiliated hospital partners Care New England and Lifespan who have a primary academic appointment at Brown University shall be eligible so long as their application includes a letter of support from their employer. For complete eligibility details see BBII Request for Proposals - Full Description and Guidelines (hyperlink to protected Google Doc).

Evaluation Criteria:

  • The BBII fund awards are meant to advance technologies to the point where they can be transferred through licensing or receive additional funding through partnering with industry. Proposals will be evaluated on overall potential for commercial relevance.
  • Key criteria include:
  • Potential impact and significance
  • Scientific and technical merit
  • Appropriateness of objectives and milestones for achieving commercially relevant proof of concept
  • Market need
  • Competitive advantages over other technology
  • Patentability of technology
  • Demonstrated interest from potential industry partners
  • Proposals will be shared with an external investment advisory panel for review and selection for funding. They may also be shared with one or more technical experts and advisors for input on scientific/technical merit or market analysis.

Schedule:
Pre-proposal deadline :  January 11, 2019
Invitation to submit full proposal : February 2019
Full proposal deadline : March 29, 2019
Presentation to evaluation committee : April 2019
Awards : May 2019