Partners Innovation Development Grants Program

Process and Procedures
– 2013 Program Cycle

Background And Purpose

Partners HealthCare (PHS) has established the Innovation Development Grants (IDG) program to significantly enhance the commercial outcomes of the innovations of the outstanding scientists, clinicians and staff of PHS and its affiliated institutions. This new PHS-wide initiative is managed by Research Ventures & Licensing (RVL) and open to any full-time employee at PHS or a PHS-affiliated institution or faculty member with a primary appointment at a PHS-affiliated institution. The IDG program is a new resource that is intended to increase and accelerate the application of the enormous innovation potential of the PHS community into patient-benefiting solutions. The IDG program is designed to engage the entire PHS innovation community, stimulate new inventive concepts, identify areas of commercially significant scientific strength, accelerate commercialization and improve patient care. It is designed to engage innovators throughout PHS in traditional clinical and research areas associated with discovery, and other important fields such as nursing, primary care and systems management. The IDG program will fund device prototyping, pre-clinical studies, software development and other approaches that can directly lead to a licensing opportunity, industry partnership, or a spinoff company based on a device, drug, diagnostic, software program, or other product or service that improves patient health or healthcare delivery.

2013 IDG Program Guidelines

Preliminary Proposals are due by Friday, November 15, 2013. The on-line application is available at RVL will manage a process to screen and select a subset of Preliminary Proposals, and the selected applicants will be invited to submit Final Proposals. Invitations to submit Final Proposals will be distributed on Friday, January 17, 2014. At the request of the applicant, RVL can assist in the applicant’s preparation of the Final Proposal. Final Proposals are due by Friday, February 14, 2014. Final Proposals selected for funding will be announced Friday, March 21, 2014. Each applicant receiving an award will be expected to prepare a summary report describing project results at the conclusion of the award period.

Who May Apply

Individuals or teams may apply for the IDG program. In order to be eligible for the IDG program, all individual applicants and team leaders must be faculty members with a primary appointment at a PHS-affiliated institution or full-time employees at PHS or a PHS-affiliated institution. Team members may include faculty members or employees at academic or not-for-profit institutions outside the PHS community.


Approximately 30 proposals are expected to be funded, up to a maximum of $50,000 per proposal (inclusive of a 15% PHS indirect expense charge). A maximum of $1 million in funding is available for the 2013 IDG program cycle. All funds must be spent at PHS or its affiliated institutions (subject to limited exceptions described in “Budget and Resources”) within the time frame specified in the proposal, which may not exceed a six-month period. Only one Preliminary Proposal should be submitted for a given technology or project.

Intellectual Property

Awards will be governed by the PHS Intellectual Property Policy, which can be found on the RVL website (/investigators/policies). Each PHS-affiliated applicant invited to submit a Final Proposal will be required to provide a signed Intellectual Property Acknowledgment form, assigning the applicant’s intellectual property rights to PHS or an appropriate PHS-affiliated institution.

Budget and Resources

Preliminary Proposals and Final Proposals must include an itemized budget. Awards may only be used for budgeted items. Funding will be subject to a 15% PHS indirect expense charge, which must be included in the maximum $50,000 budget. Please note, salaries must include appropriate fringe. Awards may not be used for capital equipment or travel expenses. The budget may contemplate a certain portion of the award supporting services of an appropriate vendor or consultant, where the provision of such services is integral to performance of the project (e.g., contract research organizations or prototyping vendors). Any vendors or consultants utilized must agree that any intellectual property rights will be assigned to PHS or an appropriate PHS-affiliated institution. While team members may include faculty members or employees at academic or not-for-profit institutions outside the PHS community, no portion of the award may be subcontracted to any academic or not-for-profit institution outside the PHS community. As described in “Evaluation Criteria” below, individuals evaluating the Preliminary Proposals and Final Proposals will consider the proportion of funding used internally at PHS and PHS-affiliated institutions, versus the proportion used to support external services.

Evaluation Criteria

Preliminary Proposals will be evaluated by members of the RVL Commercialization Committee, which is made up of PHS-affiliated innovators, and Final Proposals will be evaluated by an independent panel of industry advisors. There are no restrictions on the type of project that may receive an award. Preliminary Proposals and Final Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Degree of innovation and novelty;
  • Patient or healthcare impact;
  • Likelihood that achievement of target endpoints would lead to a licensing opportunity and/or creation of a spinoff company or an industry partnership;
  • Applicant expertise and capability to achieve target endpoints;
  • Likelihood of attracting follow-on development investment;
  • Use of funds; and
  • Probability of meeting articulated milestones and target endpoints.


Please contact the IDG Program Administrator, Crystal Spencer (; 617-954-9339) or your RVL Licensing Manager with any questions.

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