Funding - Innovation Accelerator Pilot Program

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Ashley Dunn, MPH
Program Manager

Linda Lucian
Biodesign-MedTech Program Manager



Byers Center for Biodesign - MEDTECH


In keeping with its core mission, Spectrum offers grants for accelerating clinical and translational research in biomedical and health-related areas. The Stanford CTSA/Spectrum Pilot Grant Program has two major goals:

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

The primary expectation is that these early-stage translational projects will lead to additional research, external support, information dissemination and most important, will develop into longer-term, comprehensive projects. We encourage transdisciplinary collaborations, but this is not a requirement for funding.


The Byers Center for Biodesign manages health technology grants for the Spectrum 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.

Byers Center for Biodesign - Medtech Pilot Grants must have the objective of translating discoveries into novel medtech products that address unmet medical needs. Emphasis will be placed on technologies that have the potential to advance rapidly into patient care through development by venture funded startups, licensing to established companies, or other pathways. Only projects involving Stanford-owned intellectual property will be considered. Examples include prototype device development, preclinical studies, and investigator-initiated pilot clinical studies.

2017 Spectrum Medtech Review Panelists:

Company Position/Role
Leslie Bottorff GE Ventures Healthcare
Managing Director
Mike Carusi Lightstone Ventures General Partner
Andrew Cleeland Fogarty Institute of Innovation CEO
Jeff Gold Corindus & AngioDynamics Board Member & Advisor
Greg Grunberg, MD Longitude Capital Managing Director
John Maroney Medical Technology Consulting Services Principal
Gordon Saul Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University Executive Director
Paul Yock, MD Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University Founder, Director, Professor
School of Medicine and Bioengineering

Amount and Period of Funding

Typical grants range between $15,000 and $50,000 per year, depending on the specific program and the individual proposal. Funds must be applied to specific tasks that increase the probability of translational success and outside funding and must be in compliance with Spectrum’s funding guidelines.

Awards funded through Spectrum will be granted for one year and must be completed in that timeframe. All unexpended funds will be forfeited if not spent within the 12-month award period. We encourage investigators to consider submitting requests less than the $50,000 maximum, as this will increase the probability of being funded and will enable us to award more grants.


Open to Stanford faculty with PI eligibility (with UTL, MCL, NTLR faculty appointments.)

Clinical Educator (CE) faculty, clinical instructors, instructors, graduate students and post-doctoral scholars (clinical and non-clinical) are required to include a PI-eligible faculty member as co-PI on the application.

Intellectual property of core technology must be owned by Stanford (not under an option or license to any entity).

Proposal Deadline


MedTech Request for Proposals released:

February 18, 2019

Deadline for MedTech Proposal Submissions:

May 1, 2019

Selection of MedTech Finalists: 

May 22, 2019

MedTech Finalists Presentations:

June 14, 2019

MedTech Funding Cycle:

August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020

Application Instructions

Proposal Submission

  • Proposal Submission:
    • Applicants must choose a primary program area (i.e., SPADA, SPARK, Biodesign - Medtech, and Population Health Sciences) for the project and may apply to another area if the project meets criteria for both programs.
    • Please communicate with program staff if it is unclear which program area is the best fit.
    • Projects will be awarded only one Spectrum Pilot Grant per annual grant cycle.
  • Application Process:


  • Page specifications
    • 8.5 x 11” page size
    • At least 0.75” margins on all sides
    • At least 10-point font size
  • Save your documents as PDFs to upload to Qualtrics (online submission)

Applications Must Include The Following Information:

  • A cover sheet that includes:
    • Title of proposal
    • PI name title, email and department
    • Mentor name (if applicable)
    • Co-investigator names, departments and emails
    • Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) disclosure (yes/no) and docket number, if relevant.
    • Amount of funding requested
  • Body of proposal (3-page limit, at least 10-point font):
    • Description of proposed product
    • Underlying technology and preliminary data (if any)
    • Clinical indication and brief scope of market
    • Comparison to effectiveness and cost of current standard of care
    • Translational objectives that will be achieved with the funding
    • Development plan, including timeline and plans for funding post-award
    • Preliminary assessment of regulatory pathway, freedom to operate
    • IP landscape and any significant non-Stanford collaborations - in particular those that would prevent independent development of the proposed technology/product
  • Budget (not part of page limit)
    • Allowable expenditures include: investigator’s salary, research personnel salaries, travel (if project-related) and project supplies.
    • Unallowable expenditures include: capital equipment costing more than $5,000, intellectual property services, and food.
    • Do not include indirect cost expenses.
  • Bios of all relevant staff involved in the project. (One paragraph maximum each person; not part of page limit.)
  • Note:
    • Figures and tables must be included within the body of the proposal.
    • References may be included and are not part of the page limit.
    • Do not include appendices to the proposal.
    • Applications that do not comply with the requirements will not be considered for review.

Award Process

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of independent faculty and external reviewers, and awards will be based on individual selection criteria and scoring systems. In general, reviewers will select applications for consideration as finalists that have made convincing arguments that the investigator(s) is proposing a bold idea or approach that can have a major translational impact in translational research.

  • Finalists may be invited for oral presentations.
  • Awardees will be notified.