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Innovations in Imaging

Funding Pathways



The R21 grant is intended to encourage exploratory/developmental research by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development. This program supports new research projects with one of the following objectives:

  • assess the feasibility of a novel avenue of investigation
  • involve high risk experiments that could lead to a breakthrough in a particular field
  • demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies that could have major impact in a specific area.

Proposals submitted under this mechanism should be limited to those with the potential for truly groundbreaking impact. The combined budget for direct costs for the two year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year. Projects should be distinct from those supported through the traditional R01 mechanism.



The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR/STTR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from commercialization. Including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena stimulates innovation and entrepreneurial spirit while meeting specific research and development needs. The STTR program uniquely requires the participating small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between basic science performance and commercialization of resulting innovations.

Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small businesses prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR/STTR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $225,000 total costs for 1 year.

Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the Phase II project proposed. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR/STTR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,500,000 total costs for 2 years.



The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland provides developmental, organizational, financial, and educational support to biomedical researchers as well as opportunities for community members to participate in meaningful and valuable research.

Case Western Reserve University is the site of a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) approved for funding by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through May 2017. The goal of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) is to provide full service and integrated clinical translational research capability within the Cleveland community to improve the health of patients in Northeast Ohio through patient-based research. The CTSC also provides career development support for clinical investigators and offers research participant resources in support of technology-intensive studies.

The CTSC Annual Pilot Program (up to $50,000) supports researchers conducting innovative translational research projects focused on the invention, preclinical development and/or first in man studies of novel therapeutic agents, biomedical devices and diagnostics designed to address unmet clinical needs. Funding is intended to facilitate development of enabling technologies; new therapeutic, diagnostic or outcomes assessment approaches and/or device; novel cross-disciplinary collaborative programs; and promote research in the community.


Ohio Third Frontier TVSF

The goal of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund is to create greater economic growth in Ohio based on start-up companies that commercialize technologies developed by Ohio institutions of higher education, other Ohio not-for-profit research institutions and federal labs located in Ohio.

The Technology Validation and Start-up Fund has been designed to: 1) Support protected technologies developed at eligible Ohio research institutions and federal labs located in Ohio that need known validation/proof that will directly impact and enhance both their commercial viability and ability to support a start-up company and 2) Support Ohio start-up and Ohio young companies that have not yet, but may license these validated/proven technologies from these Ohio institutions or federal labs located in Ohio and have already engaged with the institution or lab in a due diligence discussion for doing so.

Two separate mechanisms, with different application requirements, have been set up to achieve these goals: Technology Validation (Phase 1) and Start-Up Funds (Phase 2). Phase 1 is to a university for $50,000 with a 1:1 cost share, while Phase 2 is to a start-up company for $100,000 with no cost share.



The NCAI is very similar to the Coulter process, but is restricted to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The overall goal of this Center is to establish the infrastructure to propel early-stage projects forward and to engage and educate researchers to be full partners in transforming their discoveries into high-impact advances in patient care. The center’s two principal objectives:

  1. Use Cleveland Clinic’s technology commercialization experience, and that of its partners, to create the required infrastructure, processes and governance necessary to significantly accelerate the commercial application of early-stage NHLBI-sponsored discoveries. This includes taking advantage of complementary, in-place infrastructure and funding sources to translate novel, research-stage scientific advances into commercially viable medical products that improve patient care and advance public health.
  2. Foster the development of high-priority, early-stage technologies that address diseases within the NHLBI’s scope by: (1) selecting high-potential candidate technologies; (2) providing funds for scientific product definition studies; (3) providing unified and coordinated access to expertise in areas required for early technology development; (4) leveraging existing NIH resources, such as the NIH's Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) or the NHLBI's "Science Moving towards Research Translation and Therapy" (SMARTT) program and "Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs; (5) establishing novel partnerships and strengthening existing alliances between stakeholders; (6) supporting innovators with training, mentoring and hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and, early engagement with the investment and regulatory communities; and (7) creating cultural and systemic changes needed to further accelerate innovations into products.


Foundations & Societies

Numerous disease/specialty-specific foundations and societies offer translational grants and technology investments. Please search for foundations and societies in your area of focus.