The Flinn Foundation Seed Grants to Promote Translational Research Program this year is funding 12 research teams affiliated with an Arizona university, research institution, or health-care system that are advancing new products or services addressing significant clinical needs.
The 2023 awardees will each receive a $100,000 grant over 18 months, plus programmatic benefits. At the end of the grant period, up to two of the most successful projects may receive up to an additional $100,000 over the following year.
The 2023 grantee cohort is the largest yet for the program, thanks to $200,000 in funding from the Tom and Catherine Culley Charitable Trust for two cancer-specific projects.
Each supported team will use the 18-month grant period to de-risk its product/process, refine its design, and/or acquire key validation data and stakeholder feedback—and secure, or have a well-defined plan to secure, new sources of funding to advance toward positive patient impact.
Learn more: Seeding innovation: 12 Flinn Foundation grantees to tackle clinical needs
Who Should Apply
The Flinn Foundation seeks proposals from teams with innovative solutions to well-defined and compelling clinical needs in the areas of precision medicine, diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and health-care delivery processes. Proposed projects must have reached a point where they have significant potential to turn bench results into viable products or systems impacting patients in Arizona and beyond.
This program supports teams that include both scientists and clinicians affiliated with Arizona-based research institutions and/or health-care systems. Funded projects must focus on bringing new products and services to benefit patients.
Stay tuned for details about the opening of the 2024 application or email Mary O’Reilly, Ph.D., Flinn Foundation Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs.
For a research team to qualify for the program:
- The principal investigator must be employed by an Arizona-based, nonprofit academic- or medical-research institution or health system;
- The proposed product and/or process must address a clearly defined, compelling clinical need; and
- The project team must have a blend of skills (e.g., scientific, clinical, engineering, business, regulatory) to meet the proposal goals.
Beyond the $100,000 grant, the program provides:
- Membership during the grant period on Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee;
- Connections with research and industry experts;
- Quarterly check-ins and workshops to enhance teams’ skillsets in product development and commercialization; and
- Referrals to programs, resources, and product-development/product-launch experts.
Use of Funds
The PI’s home institution will administer the grant; up to 10% of funds are allowable for administrative or institutional fees (indirect costs).
Grant funding can cover or offset expenditures such as:
- Program-related lab expenses (materials, support staff, analysis).
- Prototype development, testing, and validation.
- Animal-model tests.
- Publication of data.
- Development/refinement of business plan and customer exploration.
- Development of proposals for follow-on funding from Small Business Innovation Research funds, National Institutes of Health grants, angel investments, philanthropic funds, etc.
The Flinn Foundation may permit other uses of funds if deemed appropriate in the context of program goals and the nature of the team’s research. Funds may not support salaries, benefits, or other compensation of the PI or co-PI(s), or be applied toward prior debt.
Expectations of Project Teams
Selected teams will report quarterly and regularly present their case to scientific and industry leaders. By the end of the grant period, successful teams will significantly de-risk their product/process, refine their design, and/or acquire critical validation data. They will secure or have a well-defined plan to secure new funding to carry their project forward to real-world impact.
Ideally, prior to the start of the grant period, the PI should have IRB approval and a plan for addressing intellectual property issues with their institution, including ownership and licensing of technology.
Expectations of the Institution
The PI’s home institution must provide a letter of support signed by the Vice President of Research or their designee. The institution should have worked with the PI to secure IP or be in the process of doing so, with a path to agreement on licensing or ownership of the IP.
For more information about the program, email Mary O’Reilly, Ph.D., Flinn Foundation Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs.
In 2002, the Flinn Foundation commissioned creation of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the long-term strategic plan to advance Arizona’s bioscience sector. The plan, updated in 2014, includes five overarching goals.
The Roadmap’s second goal is “to increase the ability of research-performing institutions to turn bench research results into improved disease and illness prevention, detection, and treatment.”
The Seed Grants to Promote Translational Research Program helps the state reach this goal by funding research projects that focus on creating new products and services to benefit patients.
The most recent grants announced under this program were awarded to Arizona State University, Barrow Neurological Institute, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Arizona. Project teams at the four institutions are collaborating on their projects with researchers from Mayo Clinic, Banner University Medical Center, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and two private companies—Immunoshield Therapeutics and Innoventyx LLC.
Since 2013, the Flinn Foundation has awarded 63 seed grants totaling about $7.5 million.
- Learn about application requirements for the seed-grants program
- Learn about the current and past program participants
- Learn about the Flinn Foundation’s bioscience grantmaking
- Learn about the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program