ADVANCE Grant Proof-of-Concept Fund

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The MSU Innovation Center is proud to manage and administer the ADVANCE Grant Program sponsored by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on behalf of all public universities throughout the State of Michigan. This university early stage proof-of-concept fund is designed to closely align with other programs (e.g. MTRAC, T3N, First Capital Fund), as well as angel and venture capital within the State to provide a pipeline of de-risked technologies and fundable startup opportunities for further advancement. The ADVANCE Grant program, like MTRAC, will provide a strong incentive for faculty with early stage technologies at the Michigan public universities to engage with their university’s TTO and commercialization activities. Technologies, TTOs and inventors that receive funding under the ADVANCE Grant Program will benefit through achievement of critical early stage milestones such as proof-of-concept or market opportunity validation which will lead to follow-on commercialization activities. 

ADVANCE Grant Announcement – Funding Cycles
Updated November 06, 2018

The ADVANCE Grant has had a very successful first award cycle of MEDC funding.  The ADVANCE Proof-of-Concept Grant program received $1,000,000 of funds to award in the time period April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2019.  

ADVANCE has committed $978,402 for ADVANCE grants to Michigan universities as of today comprising 28 awards to 7 Michigan universities.   Under the current funding cycle, there is a small amount of funding remaining to be committed by March 31, 2019.  All projects are to be completed by March 31, 2020. 

MEDC has amended and approved the ADVANCE Grant Program for a second funding cycle for $500,000.   The new cycle starts April 1, 2019 and goes through March 31, 2020 for commitment of funds and through March 31, 2021 for completion of the projects. 

Given that only a small amount of funds are available between now and April 1, 2019, the ADVANCE program team needs to manage the application and award process for the next few months.

  1. MSU will review any new applications for the first funding cycle through December 31, 2018.   Please only submit projects that are time sensitive.   Depending on the requested funding, MSU may only be able to fund one or two more project.   Please contact Ann Spalding ( if you are planning to submit an application in the near future. 
  2. MSU will review any new applications for this second funding cycle starting January 1, 2019.   All applications must have a start date of no earlier than April 1, 2019 and an end date of no later than March 31, 2020. Please contact Ann Spalding ( when you are planning to submit an application for the second funding cycle. 

Thanks again for your participation in this important translational research program.

Learn more and apply today


For more information, please email program administrator Ms. Ann Spalding at or phone 517.884.1605.