Draper Technology Innovation Fund (TIF)

Program Description

The Draper Technology Innovation Fund (TIF) provides a mechanism to support the additional research often necessary to bring new concepts and inventions to the patent and licensing stage. The program goal is the eventual introduction of new products and processes into the marketplace for the public good. The targeted inventions must have already been disclosed to and accepted by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) for patenting or similar intellectual property protection. Funds can be used to support efforts to enhance the scope or patentability of inventions and assist with their potential licensing to the commercial sector. Examples of research activities include prototype development, expansion of studies to include additional exemplary demonstrations, preparation of samples for evaluation, and application testing. This program is administered in partnership between Discovery to Product and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.


Applicants must be University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty members or academic staff. A formal University invention disclosure must have been accepted by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.  Any improvements to the invention, or new innovation that occurs as a result of this funding, must also be disclosed and assigned to WARF. Applicants must be in residence on the Madison campus during the funding period.

Prior to writing a proposal, we highly recommend that you consult your WARF licensing representative to discuss the award qualifications as they pertain to your invention and experimental research findings. These consultations can prove helpful when describing in your proposal what additional research is required to improve the patentability or licensability of your invention.

Funding level and period

Awards are subject to the availability of funds and cannot exceed $50,000. Draper TIF awards are funded on 135 accounts which means that any salary awarded will have fringe benefits charged to this fund. Funding is made available on a quarterly basis throughout the calendar year. Proposals are funded for a maximum of one year.


FY 2025 Deadlines

Q2: Aug. 15, 2024 (funding available Oct. 1)

Q3: Nov. 15, 2024 (funding available Jan. 1)

Q4: Feb. 14, 2025 (funding available Apr. 1)

Proposals are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Contact your school/college for deadlines for internal review of proposals by school/college administrators. Internal review deadlines may be a week or more prior to submission to Discovery to Product. Funds will be made available on the first day of the next quarter following the deadline.

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Application Documents

Submission Instructions

Page limit

Please keep your proposal narrative to seven pages excluding the cover page and submit your budget using the form provided. Do NOT include a copy of your patent or Invention Disclosure Report.

Submit your proposal

PIs: Email your proposal to your department and have them sign the cover page as a way to document that they approve the proposal. They can then email it to your division for approval.

School/College: Please sign the cover page as a way to document that you approve the proposal and then email it to tif@grad.wisc.edu.

Questions? Please email D2P at tif@grad.wisc.edu

Proposals are reviewed by a committee and results of pending proposals are typically available within 6-8 weeks of the application deadline.

Reporting Requirements and Forms for Draper TIF Recipients

Final Report Due Dates

Award recipients must file final reports by the applicable date indicated below. Failure to file reports in a timely manner may affect a recipient’s ability to receive future funding under this program.

Q1: August 15
Q2: November 15
Q3: February 15
Q4: May 15

Download Final Report Template (Word)

Email your final report