NTU and U of I have together committed to fund up to four selected proposals and offer up to USD $40,000 (NTD $1,200,000) per selected proposal combined. In other words, each university will offer up to USD $20,000 (NTD $600,000) per selected proposal. Applications should be jointly submitted by NTU and U of I faculty. NTU Office of International Affairs (OIA) and U of I Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation (OVPEDI) will administer the program.
1. Priority Areas
1.1 Priority focus areas for the program include Health & Medicine, Data Science & AI, Sustainability, Quantum & Semiconductor, and Social Science; both universities’ worldwide reputation and standing in these topic areas made them clear choices for this seed grant program.
2.1 Both NTU and U of I applicants must be faculty members for the duration of the funding period.
2.2 Each project must have at least one NTU principle investigator (PI) and one U of I PI.
3. Funding Information
3.1 Total funding available for each round is USD $160,000, approximately NTD $4,800,000, shared equally by NTU and U of I.
3.2 Funding amount per selected proposal is up to USD $40,000, approximately NTD $1,200,000, and NTU and U of I will jointly fund up to four projects. In other words, each university will offer up to USD $20,000, approximately NTD $600,000, per selected proposal.
3.3 Each selected proposal will receive an even distribution of funding from NTU and U of I to their respective faculty.
3.4 The actual amount of funding available and number of projects funded in each round will be reviewed and determined annually by mutual agreement between NTU and U of I.
3.5 Funding period is two years, starting from January 1 and ending on December 31 of the following year. Unless jointly approved by the coordinators, there will be no extensions beyond this timeframe.
3.6 Funding not spent by the end of the funding period must be returned so that unspent balances can be re-allocated.
3.7 Funding covers international travel by university faculty members and students, hosting scholars from the other university (daily stipends in principle), international events, meetings, personnel expenses1 for postdocs and student workers (no faculty salaries), supplies, and additional expenses that are necessary to move research forward. A maximum of one-third of NTU funding may be utilized for personnel expenses per project.
3.8 Funding does not cover indirect cost recoveries (ICR).
3.9 Funding should only be utilized for the selected proposal and approved budget plan.
3.10 All expenses must comply with the guidelines of the respective universities to which reimbursement is to be sought.
4. Application Information
4.1 All proposals must be jointly submitted by NTU faculty member(s) and U of I faculty member(s).
4.2 All proposals must address the commercial viability of the project, technical details and overall planning, the clarification of intellectual property rights that are likely to be generated (position and strategy), and plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned.
4.3 All proposals should clearly explain the motivation for holding the activity, including how the relevant NTU and U of I institutes or departments are involved and can benefit in the long term from this cooperation and what synergies can arise.
4.4 Proposed activities should have a clearly defined focus with scientific and technical merit, demonstrate innovation and economic impact, and serve as a catalyst for moving research forward to a path of commercialization (when relevant).
4.5 Proposed activities can take place either at NTU or U of I.
4.6 Proposed activities’ inclusion of third parties is permitted; however, the additional costs must be covered by these parties themselves.
4.7 All proposals must include the following sections:
4.7.1 Executive Summary
4.7.2 Project description/narrative (up to 7 pages) including:
a. Clearly formulated project plan and goals
b. Innovation and Commercialization potential and benefits
c. Plan to assess effectiveness of proposal outcome
4.7.3 Project timeline (max. two-year funding period) (1 page)
4.7.4 Project Budget (USD) (2 pages each) breakdown following the attached template, including equal distribution of funding between:
a. NTU (USD) (NTU funding will be dispensed or reimbursed in New Taiwan Dollar (NTD))
b. U of I (USD)
4.7.5 Description of NTU and U of I PI’s research profiles (interdisciplinary nature, excellence of project leaders, scope of the fields/labs represented in the proposed activity) and synergy between them (1 page each)
4.7.6 Information on how the cooperation can be sustained beyond the initial seed funding phase; plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned (1 page)
4.7.7 How intellectual property will be addressed (1 page)
4.7.8 Written endorsement statement of respective NTU/U of I heads of faculty/department/institute
4.8 To apply, joint project proposals should be submitted to the online application system.
4.9 Late application will not be considered.
5. Selection and Result Notification
5.1 Proposal selection will be made by a joint selection committee consisting of NTU and U of I representatives.
5.2 Selection of representatives will be coordinated by NTU OIA and the U of I System OVPEDI.
5.3 The joint selection committee reserve the final authority over the proposal selection taking into account university and faculty strategic priorities and the availability of funding.
5.4 Priority will be given to interdisciplinary proposals.
5.5 Priority will be given to applicants who have not received previous support within this funding scheme.
5.6 Funding will be provided on a competitive basis, following the selection criteria below:
Scientific merit, technical merit, excellence of innovation potential, potential impact
Clear plan and goals for the activity during the two-year program
Description of the NTU and U of I PI’s research profiles (interdisciplinary nature, excellence of project leaders, scope of the fields/labs represented in the proposed activity) and synergy between them
Information on how the cooperation can be sustained beyond the initial seed funding phase; plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned. Suitable outline of how the commercialization or the generation of the listed benefits will be achieved, if applicable. Plans to assess and validate the quality and effectiveness of the project’s outcomes.
5.7 Successful applicants will receive a letter of award outlining the process to accept the funding.
5.8 Feedback on individual applications will not be provided.
6. Intellectual Property
6.1 For purposes of this program, intellectual property will remain with the university that generated such intellectual property (what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours).
6.2 In the event that new intellectual property will be generated jointly by the universities from the seed grants, both universities will agree to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with respect to intellectual property ownership, management, protection and further development and exploitation.
7. Recipient Obligation
7.1 Recipients must mention the funding in all appropriate media, including any events arising from activities supported by this funding should include an acknowledgement of “NTU-U of I Joint Research and Innovation Seed Grants Program” and any publications/presentations arising from activities supported by this funding should include acknowledgement of “This publication/presentation is supported in part by the Joint Research and Innovation Seed Grants Program between National Taiwan University and the University of Illinois System.”
7.2 Recipients must submit an annual technical and fiscal summary report/presentation by March 31 during the funding period.
7.3 Recipients must comply with all relevant laws and university regulations, including those relating to intellectual property, codes of conduct, etc.
8. Important Dates
For reference, the important dates of the 2024 round Joint Research and Innovation Seed Grants Program are as follows:
|Call for Proposals published||Aug. 2, 2023|
|RSVP for Information and Partnering Webinar||Sep. 8, 2023|
|Submit slides for optional three-minute talk during Webinar||Sep. 12, 2023|
|Information and Partnering Webinar (optional participation)||Sep. 14, 2023 7 – 8 pm CDT
Sep. 15, 2023 8 – 9 am Taiwan
Project proposal submission deadline
Oct. 27, 2023
Announcement of awards
Proposed activities commence
Jan. 1, 2024
National Taiwan University
Office of International Affairs
Phone: +886 (0) 2 3366 2007 ext 221
University of Illinois System
Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation