THE CENTER FOR RESEARCH INNOVATION

THE SPARK FUND

FUNDING NORTHEASTERN’S TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES

The CRI Spark Fund helps Northeastern researchers bridge the gap between promising lab results and demonstrating a commercially viable prototype. The CRI grants and programs catalyze state-of-the-art technologies, advancing Northeastern inventions through prototyping, validation, and industry input.

ANNOUNCING THE SPARK FUND AWARDEES

Sara M. Hashmi

Sara M. Hashmi


College of Engineering

College of Science
Leanne Chukoskie

Leanne Chukoskie


Bouvé College of Health Sciences

College of Arts, Media, & Design
Ke Zhang

Ke Zhang


College of Science

College of Engineering
Jason Radford

Jason Radford


College of Social Sciences & Humanities

Network Science Institute
Alexander R Ivanov

Alexander R. Ivanov


College of Science
Aarti Sathyanarayana

Aarti Sathyanarayana


Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Khoury College of Computer Sciences

OVERVIEW

$50,000 for one year towards professor led research

5+ awards available

The CRI Spark Fund offers proof-of-concept gap fund awards to commercially valuable inventions (from any field) in the early stages of development.

Spark Fund applicants may apply to advance a technology or suite of technologies towards commercialization readiness to:

  • License either through new company creation or industry
  • Apply for follow-on state, federal, or corporate funding to continue proof of concept work

New applicants applying for funding may only have one active Spark Fund award at a time. While you may apply to advance multiple technologies, you will only receive funding to advance one technology or suite of technologies at a time.

Prior recipients of Spark Fund or GapFund360 awards may apply for additional funding up to $150,000 maximum on a technology or suite of technologies. One must use active award funding for a full year prior to applying again.


 

Partnerships for Distinctive Awards:

These colleges collaborate with the CRI to provide financial support to emerging researchers. Researchers in other institutions receive funding exclusively from the CRI. 

    • Bouvé College of Health Sciences – Award dedicated to advancing research from the lab of a Bouvé Professor.
    • College of Science – Award dedicated to advancing research from the lab of a COS Professor.
    • College of Engineering – Award dedicated to advancing research from the lab of a COE Assistant/Research Professor.

DELIVERABLES

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED

IMPORTANT DATES

l

October 10, 2023

APPLICATIONS OPEN

i

October 24, 2023

EARLY APPLICATIONS CLOSE
Confirmation of eligibility and early application feedback for a more competitive final submission.

r

November 21, 2023

GENERAL APPLICATIONS CLOSE

v

January 12, 2024

AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT

SPARK FUND USES

Spark Fund grants may be used to advance the commercial prospects of inventions in many different ways, including but not limited to:

Building a commercially ready prototype

Animal testing to generate in vivo data

Optimizing processes for yield, speed, cost

Repurposing tech to meet industry needs

SPARK FUND BUDGET

  • Salaries for research faculty
  • Postdoctoral researchers, Ph.D.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students
  • Materials, supplies, travel expenses excluding conference attendance, and equipment and supplies necessary for the performance of the research provided that equipment costs do not exceed $2,000
  • Costs related to animal care and research
  • External consultant or advisor costs approved by the Spark Fund.
  • Overhead or indirect costs
  • Tuition
  • Visa fees
  • Scholarships
  • Sabbatical leave
  • Salaries for staff, visiting faculty, visiting researchers, tenured or tenure track faculty (including but not limited to the Lead Researcher) and other personnel not named in Allowable Expenditures above
  • Conference attendance and travel
  • Patent expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Equipment in excess of $2,000
  • Sales, marketing, or other business development
  • Debts, fines, or penalties

ELIGIBILITY

Applicant criteria
  •  Northeastern University researchers with novel, pioneering, and commercially valuable technologies in the proof-of-concept stage. 
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) on Spark Fund applications may include faculty, PhDs, Postdocs, or graduate students propelling inventions towards commercialization at Northeastern.  
  • At least one Co-PI must be a faculty member with Northeastern University IP who will oversee project progression and awarded funding.  
IP criteria
  • All technology affiliated with a Spark Fund application must be disclosed to the CRI before applying. 
  • Spark Fund Eligible applicants include Northeastern University Inventors with novel, pioneering, and commercially valuable technologies currently in the proof-of-concept stage. 
    • All technology affiliated with a Spark Fund must be disclosed to the CRI before applying (including background intellectual property required to deploy the technology). 
    • At least one Northeastern Inventor with the duty to assign must either lead or oversee the proposed project. 
    • Awarded funds will be distributed to a Northeastern research lab.

    Questions about eligibility? Contact Spark Fund.

    ADVISORS

    Advisors offer time and talent to review Spark Fund applications, sharing specific subject matter expertise and experience to enable effective selection of finalists and awardees.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    CONTACT

    PJ DUPUIS

    PJ DUPUIS

    ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PROGRAMS

    Center for Research Innovation
    (617) 373-8103
    [email protected]