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Early-Stage Medical Technology Development and Commercialization

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Medical Innovation (CMI), in collaboration with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Office of Technology Management (OTM), and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CTRP), is requesting pre-proposals for early-stage applied medical technology research and development. 


The Pilot Funding Program supports the mission of the CMI to develop innovative new solutions to clinical challenges that result in improvements in patient care through clinical/technical partnerships. This RFP is specifically for projects that are in the early stages of development, with the goal of ultimately transitioning the work to further funding through a CTRP grant or other available source. Examples of projects include systems or devices for the improved diagnosis or treatment of disease.


Pre-proposals are submitted on a brief "Clinical Concept Questionnaire". The Questionnaire can be submitted by a clinical faculty member with a need for a technical partner, an engineering faculty member in search of a clinical partner, or an already-defined clinician/engineer partnership. If necessary, the CMI will help to assemble an effective clinician/engineer team for the development of a full proposal from selected pre-proposals. The clinician/engineer Co-PIs of selected pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. Prior to review of invited full proposals by CMI, the co-PIs must have submitted an invention disclosure to the OTM (Office of Technology Management). Funding decisions will be made following review of full proposals.


Pre-proposals can be submitted by clinically-affiliated faculty members of the Schools of Health Sciences (SoHS), engineering faculty members with primary appointments in Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE), or a clinician/engineer partnership from SoHS and SSoE. Projects initiated by SSoE students are also eligible to apply, but either an engineering or clinical faculty member must sign on as a project advisor. The faculty member will ensure project continuity upon graduation of the student co-PI, if necessary.


Pre-proposals will be evaluated on the basis of technical and clinical merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential for obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. Full proposals for funding will be solicited from selected preproposals and evaluated based on similar criteria.

Funding Levels:

Project funding will be in the range of $10,000 to $25,000. The number of awards made will depend upon availability of funds. CMI pilot grants can be used to fund the development of concept models, simulations, functional prototypes, and research labor, but cannot be used for investigator salary support. Facilities across campus will be made available by the CMI and its partners for prototype development.