Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Office of Innovation and Economic Impact

The Innovation and Economic Impact team supports research commercialization across The University of Texas at Austin with the goal of getting products and services that benefit society into the world faster and more efficiently. Our team manages UT’s intellectual property, corporate sponsored research, and support offerings for startups.
Contact: Christine Dixon Thiesing, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact

Innovation and Economic Impact Funding Opportunities

The Proof of Concept Awards provide competitive funding for faculty members or permanent researchers with principal investigator status to demonstrate the feasibility of their innovations to accelerate the process towards commercialization.

There are two different types of Proof of Concept Awards:

  • Proof of Concept Awards
    • Maximum value of $25,000 in Proof of Concept funds
    • No matching requirement
  • Proof of Concept Matching Awards
    • Maximum value of $125,000 in POC funds
    • Requires the applicant to secure non-POC funds, to be matched 1:1 by POC funds

Rolling Applications with Review Cycles Every Other Month

Click here for the Request for Applications and email Matt Sorenson for more information.

The Bridge to Phase II Support Grants assist federal SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees that are advancing UT Austin technologies to make their SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals more competitive while increasing UT’s Phase II funding rates. Grants are reviewed quarterly, and awards are up to $30,000.

Application Deadline: July 1, 2022

Click here for the Request for Applications and more information.

Find the Right Resources Using The Navigator

The Navigator connects UT researchers and students to over 100 innovation and entrepreneurship resources across campus. From funding and mentoring to education and intellectual property, The Navigator centralizes access to the resources that help UT innovators and entrepreneurs succeed. Use The Navigator to discover the resources that are right for you.

SBIR/STTR Support Services

Get help preparing your SBIR/STTR Proposals in these workshops provided by the Office of Innovation & Economic Impact at UT Austin.

  • For UT Austin affiliated startups preparing SBIR/STTR Phase I or Phase II proposals within this year.
  • Engage with expert proposal preparers/developers and ask questions specific to your proposal.
  • Learn the details of agency specific proposal preparation including electronic submission and commercialization plans.

Agency specific workshops for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense (DOD), and National Institutes of Health (NIH):

NIH Proposal Preparation Workshop (Learn More)
3-Part Series
Mondays, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

  • July 11
  • July 18
  • July 25

NIH Solicitation Deadline: 9/5/22

Space is limited — register to reserve your spot.

Register Here

These virtual sessions are held live and will not be recorded. You can watch pre-recorded, on-demand webinars here.

NSF Proposal Preparation Workshop (Learn More)
3-Part Series
Thursdays, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

  • April 7
  • April 14
  • April 21

NSF Solicitation Deadline: 6/30/22

DOD Proposal Preparation Workshop (Learn More)
3-Part Series
Mondays, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

  • May 2
  • May 9
  • May 16

DOD Solicitation Deadline: 6/15/22


The federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are non-dilutive grants referred to collectively as “America’s Seed Fund.” These programs provide key early-stage funding to companies developing technologies aligned with the research objectives of the federal funding agencies.

Phase I Awards:

  • Size of Awards: $100k-$300k.
  • 2018 Funding Rate: 16%
  • Research Aims: Phase I is focused on establishing feasibility of the technology.

Phase II Awards:

  • Up to $2M.
  • 2018 Funding Rate: 55%
  • Research Aims: Phase II is primarily geared towards transition of the Phase I research into commercial development.

Please check back soon for updates!

Innovation and Economic Impact Units

Austin Technology Incubator >

UT’s deep-tech startup support organization that focuses on companies in the energy, healthcare, mobility, water, circular economy, and food and ag tech sectors. Founded in 1989, Austin Technology Incubator is the longest-active technology incubator in the United States. Its mission is to empower university and community entrepreneurs through a customized approach to commercializing their breakthrough innovations and competing in the global marketplace.
Contact: Mitch Jacobson, Executive Director

Office of Industry Engagement >

Manages and negotiates all UT private industry research contracts and public/private partnerships. The team streamlines research agreement negotiations to better accommodate industry funding cycles while also assisting UT faculty in their collaborative efforts with industry partners.
Contact: Rebecca Leamon, Associate Director

Office of Technology Commercialization >

Facilitates the transfer of university discoveries to businesses that will bring products and services to the marketplace. The Office of Technology Commercialization manages all intellectual property generated by the faculty, staff, and graduate students at UT and works with inventors to shape their discoveries into technologies that address a market need. By both protecting intellectual property and partnering to advance the intellectual property to the market, they play a pivotal role for research commercialization at UT.
Contact: Les Nichols, Director

Texas Innovation Center >

Serves as UT’s hub for bringing engineering and other scientific discoveries and technologies to the market by creating a community for collaborative research and entrepreneurship. While the center’s primary focus is STEM faculty and graduate students from the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, the Texas Innovation Center welcomes collaboration with other disciplines on campus.
Contact: Van Truskett, Executive Director

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