Innovation Catalyst Grant

The Innovation Catalyst Grant is a proof-of-concept program managed by the Innovation & Business Engagement Hub, focused on providing targeted gap funding, training, mentorship, and support to UC Santa Cruz researchers in order to help de-risk and/or validate the implementation and adoption potential of early-stage technology innovations. The overall objective of the program is to better position innovations to move out of the University, and catalyze the process leading to transformative change and societal impact.

The Innovation Catalyst Grant helps to fill the longstanding gap in the innovation capital landscape between basic research funding and early-stage investment, while also providing University researchers with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the pathway to innovation implementation and adoption. 

Funding of up to $50,000 in direct costs will be available for selected projects, with a total of $100,000 available in this annual cycle. The application deadline for the current cycle is March 24, 2023.  

Any UCSC employee with Principal Investigator (PI) status leading an eligible project is welcome to apply. An Innovation Catalyst Grant project must focus on a potentially patentable innovation that:

  1. has already advanced beyond the basic research stage at UCSC;
  2. is owned by the University of California (UC) without existing license obligations; and
  3. now requires proof-of-concept support to demonstrate implementation, adoption, and commercial feasibility. 

Download the Request for Proposals, containing full program details.

Access the InfoReady application page

Please reach out to with any questions.


The Innovation & Business Engagement Hub hosted an online information session on February 10, 2023.