HealthAdvance Fund® Pre-Qualification and Application Process
To be eligible to submit a Pre-Qualification Form to HealthAdvance Fund®, the following criteria must be met:
- The proposed work must not have existing funding from any other source, federal or otherwise.
- The IP for the technology being developed should not be encumbered by existing licenses and/or options.
- For HealthAdvance Fund® applications, a provisional patent application covering the technology involved must have been filed.
- For technologies where Rutgers jointly owns the IP rights with another institution/entity, there must be an Inter-Institutional Agreement in place with Rutgers as the leading party.
- The Applicant Innovator (or at least one of the lead Applicant Innovators) must have attended the mandatory Innovation & Commercialization Bootcamp offered by the Rutgers TechAdvance® program.*
*While NOT recommended, in special cases, where the Innovator(s) has clearly demonstrable and meaningful experience with commercialization of early-stage technologies, HealthAdvance Fund® will consider waiving the one-day workshop attendance requirement.
The HealthAdvance Fund® Pre-Qualification Form may be submitted by the Licensing Managers on behalf of the Applicants on a rolling basis, all year round.
As a part of eligibility criteria, before submitting a Pre-Qualification Application, all Applicants must attend the Innovators Bootcamp 101 administered either by Rutgers Optimizes Innovation’s educational platform: WORC (Workforce enhancement through Opportunities, Resources, and Credentials) or by Rutgers TechAdvance® program. While not recommended, HealthAdvance Fund® may waive this requirement for Applicants with clearly demonstrable and meaningful experience in the commercialization of early-stage technologies. To check if you qualify for a waiver, contact us.
The Pre-Qualification Form has two parts: Section 1 and Section 2.
- Section 1 (1.1 - 1.9) is to be completed by the Applicant, or the lead Principal Investigator(s). Applicants must completely fill out Section 1 BEFORE their Licensing Manager (LM) fills out Section 2 and submits the form to the HealthAdvance Fund Manager.
- When submitting as a team, only the lead Applicant should fill out Applicant Information and Applicant Demographic fields in Section 1 segment 1.1.
- Applicant should ensure that Inteum docket numbers in Section 1, segment 1.2 – Project/Technology Information for each underlying disclosure for the proposed project are included in this form. You may seek help from the LM assigned to you AFTER completing all other parts of Section 1.
- Applicant should be as specific as possible regarding Disease Space, Technology Category, and the most relevant keywords that relate to your technology (Section 1. segment 1.2). If selected for a full application, this information will be used in the process of matching you with the most suitable Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) and to identify external reviewers for evaluation of your Application.
- In Section 1. segments 1.3 – 1.8, applicants are strongly encouraged to be as brief and specific as possible.
- Important information for TechAdvance®/TechXpress awardees: If the Applicant(s) has received either TechAdvance® or TechXpress funding in the past, Section 1 segment 1.9 A and 1.9 B must be filled out in detail. Applicants must list all the milestones that were proposed in the Application to TechAdvance®/Xpress, indicating if the milestones were successfully achieved/could not be met/project plan was modified (pivot) due to any reason and elaborating the reasons as requested.
- TechAdvance® and HealthAdvance Fund® are commercialization funding programs. The primary goal of both programs is to advance Rutgers technologies to a point where industry and/or investors would be willing to commit their own resources to support further commercialization activities. Therefore, it is imperative that the TechAdvance®/Xpress awardees provide clear information in Section 1 segment 1.9 B, detailing all the marketing efforts (by the Applicant and the Licensing Manager) to seek industry input, and promote the technology to external sponsors and/or investors.
- In Section 1 segment 1.9 C, Applicants should list all organizations (excluding federal and state agencies, unless the application was for commercialization funding, like SBIR, STTR, etc.) that the Applicant has applied to in the last 3 years. Applicants should also include information on any submissions planned in the next 6 months.
- Note that an application to HealthAdvance Fund® does not preclude Applicants from submitting any other grant applications; however, funds from the HealthAdvance Fund® cannot be used to support the scope of work that has been proposed to and funded by any other entity.
- Rutgers I-Corps Participation: The HealthAdvance Fund team encourages participation in entrepreneurial education programs, such as I-Corps™. If an applicant has completed the I-Corps program, the additional document requested in Section 1 segment 1.9 D must be submitted with the HealthAdvance Fund® Pre-Qualification Form.
HealthAdvance Fund® solicits full applications by invitation only. Please review the Pre-Qualification Application eligibility criteria before contacting your Licensing Manager. Pre-Qualification Applications may only be submitted through the Licensing Managers to the program on a rolling basis, throughout the year.
One of the principal objectives of Rutgers Optimizes Innovation (ROI) in awarding commercialization funding through HealthAdvance Fund® is to assist the development of very early-stage life science technologies and make them more attractive for continued follow-on investments from industry partners and external investors. Therefore, technologies licensed and/or optioned to outside stakeholders/entities will not be considered for the HealthAdvance Fund® at present.
As a part of the ROI initiative, all members of the Rutgers community are strongly encouraged to utilize the learning and enrichment resources made available through the ROI program to aid and enhance the innovation culture at the university.
Selection Process for Full Application Invitations
The HealthAdvance Fund® team reviews all properly completed Pre-Qualification Applications, submitted by the Licensing Managers, within 14 days of submission to the program.
Pre-Qualification application reviews are conducted by HealthAdvance Fund®, in consultation with the Innovation Ventures team, based on a technology’s market potential, readiness/stage of development, and existing funding status among other considerations.
Academic technologies invariably lie across a spectrum of commercialization with respect to their development stage. HealthAdvance Fund® currently refers to the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) worksheet as recommended by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assign a TRL value to each individual submission.
For questions regarding the eligibility criteria and selection process for inviting full applications, contact Pragati Sharma.
Sample Qualification Application Forms
Sample forms for a full application to the HealthAdvance Fund® can be viewed by clicking on each of the individual form links below:
All Applicant Innovators are required to obtain IACUC/IRB approvals before an application can be considered for funding.
Innovator Guidelines for a Full HealthAdvance Fund® Application
Important tips to follow when applying:
- Before starting any work related to HealthAdvance Fund®, please acquaint yourself with the HealthAdvance Fund® application process, timeline, forms, and frequently asked questions posted on the program website.
- Once you submit the completed Pre-Qualification form, the clock starts ticking on the process of preparing and submitting your full applications as well as the review process of that application. Make sure that you, and your team, have the necessary availability over the next 90 days to engage with the process.
- Note that your responses in the Application Forms should use Calibri font size 11, and the responses to questions 1-14 in Application Form A should not exceed 12 pages.
- Be precise and concise. It is imperative that you address the questions directly as being asked and NOT include tangential information.
- Applicant Innovators are required to submit full applications within 45 days of the email notification from an invitation from HealthAdvance Fund® to apply for funding. Incomplete or late submissions will result in delayed review and funding decisions and may render an applicant ineligible for future funding from the HealthAdvance Fund®.
- All our external associates, including MIRs, are paid consultants engaged for the sole purpose of assisting their matched Innovator teams to craft as compelling proposals as possible with a focus on bringing their technology to the market.
- Innovators who abandon their application after the Collaboration Kickoff meeting with MIR may be ineligible for future funding opportunities through HealthAdvance Fund®. Therefore, we strongly encourage all potential applicants to ensure their availability and that of all the team members who will work with the MIR during the application preparation (45 days), application review, and response (30 + 30 days).
- HealthAdvance Fund® requires at least one in-person interaction between the Innovator(s) and the MIR and strongly encourages as much in-person interaction between the Innovator(s) and the MIR as possible. Innovator(s) will include (cc/forward) the HealthAdvance Fund Manager on all communications with their MIR. Innovator(s) are encouraged to contact the HealthAdvance Fund team with any concerns regarding their interaction with the MIR.
- Applicant Innovators can seek up to $100,000 annually for up to 2 years. While the Notice of Award will state the total amount in approved funds, the funds will be released in batches and subject to the achievement of milestones as proposed by the applicant team in their submissions to HealthAdvance Fund®.
- Successful applicants will receive detailed information about the RAPSS account set-up, funds release structure, and progress reporting requirements when the “Notice of Award” letter is issued by HealthAdvance Fund®.
Submitting Your Application
Your application package should be submitted via email with the subject line: “HealthAdvance Fund Application_LeadInnovatorLastName” to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to convert your Application Forms – Section A and B to a single PDF file without altering the primary structure and content of the forms. Please use the budget template, the business pitch slide deck template, and the Gantt Chart template provided by HealthAdvance Fund® for your application.
HealthAdvance Fund® uses three external reviewers to evaluate the strength of the submitted applications. The reviewers’ identities are confidential and will remain so to ensure a fair and unbiased assessment of all submissions.
Innovators will have the opportunity to address any questions or concerns raised by the reviewers in their evaluations. Innovators can seek help from their MIRs to respond to the reviewers and send their responses to the HealthAdvance Fund Manager within 15 days of the “Review Response Requested” notification sent by HealthAdvance Fund® to the Innovators.
NIH Submission and Funding Decision
The decision on whether an application will be chosen for submission to the NIH is made collectively by the HealthAdvance Fund team and the Executive Committee of the ROI program, considering the reviewers’ recommendations.
While the NIH Technology Guidance Committee will provide feedback on each submitted application, the ROI Executive Committee will make the final decision on all applications with due consideration to all review elements and the NIH recommendations.
Process and Timeline
While HealthAdvance Fund® accepts Pre-Qualification Applications on a rolling basis throughout the year, the invited applications follow a structured lifetime. Once invited to submit a full HealthAdvance Fund® application, the clock starts ticking on the subsequent events as outlined below. The processing time indicated next to each event is in calendar days.
A Full HealthAdvance Fund® application includes the following required documents:
- HealthAdvance Fund® Application Form and a Gantt Chart submitted separately
- HealthAdvance Fund® Budget Form with justification (one document per application)
- Institutional Compliance Documentation (IRB or IACUC)
- Business Pitch Slide Deck
Innovators may submit more supporting documents if such materials provide substantial additional information in support of their main application.