Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program


The Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program accelerates the translation of medical discoveries into better health through innovation training, mentorships and pilot funding of promising projects.

Goals of the Program:

  • to stimulate innovative clinical and translational research.
  • to encourage collaborative, transdisciplinary work to accelerate the translation of medical discoveries into improved health.

A further goal of this early-stage funding is to enable investigators to gather proof-of-concept data that enables follow-on funding, information dissemination and most important, momentum that helps to move these novel solutions from the idea stage to clinical use. Transdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged but are not a requirement for funding.


  • Funding period — One year
  • Funding range — Up to $50,000
  • Proposal deadline — 
    • SPADA:  Monday, March 29, 2021 by 11:59 PM (PST)
    • Medtech:  Monday, April 5, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PST)
    • SPARK:  To be announced
    • Population Health Sciences:  Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM (PST)
    • Community Engagement: Monday, March 29, 2021 by 5:00 PM (PST)
  • Eligibility — Open to Stanford faculty with PI eligibility (with UTL, MCL, NTLR faculty appointments) and Clinical Educator (CE) faculty with an approved PI Waiver ( Clinical Instructors, Instructors, graduate students, and post-doctoral scholars (clinical and non-clinical) may serve as co-PI or co-investigator but are required to include a PI-eligible faculty member as lead PI on the application.

Areas of Pilot Funding

SPARK - Therapeutics is a novel drug and diagnostics discovery program that teaches an innovative, cost-effective way to overcome the hurdles associated with translating academic discoveries into drugs or diagnostics that address real clinical needs. 


STANFORD Biodesign - Medtech is a biomedical technology innovation program that assembles teams of medical, engineering and business students to develop solutions to address unmet medical needs. Stanford Biodesign manages health technology grants for the Stanford CTSA Pilot Grants Program. The defined scope of the Medtech component is to support projects involving medical devices and mobile technologies used for (1) therapeutic applications and (2) device-based patient-specific (or POC) diagnostic applications. 

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SPADA, the Stanford Predictives and Diagnostics Accelerator, assists interdisciplinary innovators in research, development and deployment of technologies that improve human health through disease prediction and/or diagnosis. The defined scope of SPADA includes projects with a goal of diagnosing and/or predicting the onset, course, worsening, or complications of disease, and prolonging health.

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Population Health Sciences facilitates information exchange, collaboration and resource sharing among faculty, staff, students and partners interested in population health. Research examples include studies of health-care delivery, comparative effectiveness research, and novel learning health care systems approaches to contemporary health care problems. 

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Community Engagement Pilot Program aims to support projects that engage community partners in clinical and translational research, to understand and address health needs of their community. The program also provides researchers an opportunity to utilize and test novel engagement strategies, assisted by the Office of Community Engagement in the School of Medicine.

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