The Piloting Research Innovation & Market Exploration (PRIME) grant administered by UW–Madison’s Discovery to Product (D2P) aims to enable campus innovators to conduct research activities that mitigate early-stage market risks. PRIME grants are intended to support critical research necessary for commercialization of innovations from UW–Madison researchers. Funded research activities must advance the project to reach critical commercialization milestones and/or enable the generation of additional private and public sector support. The grant will fund research conducted on the UW–Madison campus and may include off-campus fieldwork, pilot or market/consumer testing, market research and other activities needed to complete the research. Research outcomes must advance the project’s commercialization journey with broader impact to advance the economy of the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
PRIME research grants can complement other funding that the applicant may have from federal, state, university, nonprofit, or private industry partnerships.
Campus Innovators applying for this grant can be UW–Madison faculty or staff with PI status or staff and current students with PI Sponsors. PI Sponsors are faculty and staff who have temporary or permanent PI status and can validate the research methodology and findings.
The submitted research proposal must have a strong commercial plan supported by previous market or customer discovery research.
Prior to writing a proposal, we highly recommend that innovators engage with D2P’s Innovation and Commercialization mentors. D2P mentors have experience guiding innovators on customer discovery research, formulating pathways to commercialization, and framing research plans to be impactful for successful technology commercialization. While not required, applicants who have completed entrepreneurship programs and have done market research are typically well positioned to apply for PRIME funds.
To qualify for funding, the following three criteria must be met:
- The research will take place at the University of Wisconsin–Madison;
- The applicant should have PI status or a PI sponsor (Faculty or Staff with PI status who will validate the research methodology and outcomes); and
- The proposed research is designed to facilitate the commercialization and market adoption of the innovator’s technology, product, or service and provide a positive impact on the economy of the state of Wisconsin.
FUNDING LEVEL AND PERIOD
Proposals should focus on research linked to achieving commercial milestones related to a technology, product, or service that has a high potential to benefit Wisconsin’s industrial and economic development in the near term. Due to funding source, no cost extensions are allowed. Successful proposals will be funded in the range of $25K to $50K and will be disbursed through UW–Madison academic departments. PRIME awards are funded on 101 accounts which means that any salary awarded will not have fringe benefits charged to this fund.
Deadline to apply: The deadline for proposals for fiscal year 2024 was Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
D2P FUNDING COMPARISON CHART