By: Paul Reuland
March 26, 2020
The New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (“NHIRC”) is currently accepting applications from New Hampshire businesses that seek to partner with academic institutions for product research and development. An approved business may be granted up to $125,000 in NHIRC funds.
The mission of the NHIRC is to foster innovation via collaborations between New Hampshire companies and academic institutions, thereby creating strong, sustainable businesses that provide quality jobs within the state. The NHIRC will assist business applicants in finding an academic partner with the right expertise, facilities, and equipment to achieve their research goals. An interested business may begin the application process even if it has not identified an academic institution to partner with.
The research partnership provides numerous benefits to a participating business, including: access to equipment that the business may not otherwise be able to afford; assistance and insight on patent and licensing issues; and, the ability to test a theory or product before making an additional investment of significant capital.
Businesses will be required to match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, any NHIRC funding they receive (i.e. an award for $100,000 would require a $100,000 match by the business). In addition, a participating business must pay the academic institution a fee equal to 5% of the total project cost, less any federal funding allocated to the project, to assist the academic institution in covering its overhead expenses.
Upon approval of the project by the NHIRC, the academic institution and the business must enter into a Cooperative Agreement, which governs key terms of the research project, including ownership of any resulting intellectual property and licensing rights. For most businesses, decisions concerning ultimate ownership and licensing of the resulting intellectual property will need to be considered compared to the benefits of the NHIRC funding. Templates of the Cooperative Agreements, and other key details about the program, are available on the NHIRC’s webpage.
Any New Hampshire business is eligible to apply for NHIRC funding. However, applications from businesses in the following fields are particularly encouraged: biomedical/biotechnology; engineering; information technology; life sciences; materials science; and, manufacturing.
Applications are judged, among other factors, on: their potential impact on the New Hampshire economy (jobs created); increase in profitability of the business; creation of patentable or licensable technology; and, ability of the business to obtain addition funding upon completion of the project.
To begin the application process, a business must submit a Letter of Intent to the NHIRC by April 6, 2020. The Letter of Intent must contain a one-page project description including: the research problem to be solved; field of technology; expected commercial outcome; and, anticipated impact on the New Hampshire economy and resulting jobs. A completed application is due by June 4, 2020. Businesses interested in pursuing funding should consult the NHIRC’s webpage for additional details.