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research funding model donut chart

Our goal

We will use a startup investment model to spur innovative and collaborative research to solve grand challenges.

Funding structures

We will pilot, iterate and scale up three innovative funding mechanisms that support research throughout its development.

  • Clusters and Themes Initiative (up to $25k): These seed investments are meant to kickstart an idea that is earlier-stage or has not yet taken definite shape. It is intended for faculty with similar expertise or interests to break down boundaries and organize.
  • Research Accelerator Initiative (up to $250k): A one-time infusion of funds to get a mid-stage idea off the ground. It is similar to angel investors or accelerators in a startup funding model in that it provides a jumpstart.
  • Blue Sky Initiative (up to $2.5M over 3 years): An investment to advance a transformational idea that is high-risk, high-reward. The goal is not to launch a company, but to eventually secure external investments to develop and expand the concept. (Blue Sky news article; Blue Sky overview)

Read the research funding models article in the Michigan Engineering News Center


Fall 17: Request for proposals
2018: Pilot Program Rollout
2018 – 19: Evaluate new proposals
Late 2019: Overall program assessment
2020: Make program modifications as needed