Proof of Concept Fund

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EBCF is open for submissions.

Proof of Concept Funding for Technology Commercialization

The Energy Boost Concept Fund (EBCF) has been established to support SIU faculty in translational research projects not normally supported by federal grants, state grants, or other traditional funding sources. Energy Boost will support energy-related proof of concept projects.

EBCF awards support SIU faculty activities that will improve commercial licensing opportunities and/or start-up company and investment potential. Such proof-of-concept studies are often required by potential licensees or potential investors to provide additional confidence that an idea or technology will work in an applied setting.

Individual awards of up to $20,000 will support short-term projects of one year or less by providing financial assistance for an applicable “scale-up” research project.  Cost sharing is strongly encouraged.  Awards are subject to the availability of funds.

APPLICATION INFORMATION: Download the application and budget forms:



All Carbondale campus faculty and staff are eligible for the award. The PI #1 applicant must be listed as an inventor on the associated invention disclosure (see below). SIU Edwardsville faculty or faculty from SIU’s Springfield School of Medicine campus may submit applications when a collaborative partner from the Carbondale campus for the proof of concept work is included as PI #2 on the application.

INVENTION DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT: The purpose of the EBCF award is to fund the development of an invention by moving it significantly forward on the path toward commercialization. Prior to applying for an EBCF award, applicants must have an invention disclosure form on file with the TTO.  In most cases, the EBCF award will be used solely for the development of a prototype or completion of critical proof-of-concept experiment(s).

SELECTION CRITERIA: Applications should address and will be reviewed based upon the following criteria:

  1. Develops a technology that is supported by an invention disclosed to the TTO with a patent application already filed or expected to be filed by the TTO.
  2. Should potentially shorten time-to-license or improve viability for the technology to be the basis of a start-up company.
  3. Includes well defined deliverables and a detailed timeline for the expected deliverables.
  4. Significance and impact should be clearly stated and include an assessment of the potential value of the invention after project completion.
  5. Includes an initial market assessment and/or identifies potential licensees or start up opportunities.
  6. Leverages other resources such as departmental, college, or external funding.
  7. Includes a thorough project budget justification.

Proposals should not include salaries for faculty, staff, or students who are normally supported by department funds (short-term salaries or subawards to normally unsupported individuals for specific development purposes, e.g., engineering work, writing schematics, production of biological and related  compounds, or advanced materials, etc., or additional technical development, may be acceptable).

Awardees may be required to submit a brief mid-project progress report.  A final report indicating the next steps will be required.  Failure to submit the required reports may result in a freezing and the possible return of the remaining balance of the EBCF award.

REVIEW PROCESS: The Energy Boost Grant Selection Committee will have sole authority for determination of funding allocations.

Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year.  There is no deadline date.

Applications can be submitted to:

Amy McMorrow Hunter, Tel: (618) 453-7327, Fax: (618) 453-7346

Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center
405 W. Grand 
Carbondale, Illinois 62901 

For additional information and application forms, contact Amy McMorrow Hunter at or by calling 618-453-7327.