About the Fund

The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale supports Yale faculty in the commercialization of applied research and technology in the life sciences. A significant obstacle to the development of early-stage university discoveries is the lack of funding for the proof-of-concept and validation studies needed to demonstrate commercial potential. To overcome this barrier, the Fund provides funding and business development support to help validate nascent technologies and identify potential industry partners to advance these technologies to the marketplace.

The Fund seeks to support innovative, investigator-initiated research aimed at extending preliminary observations, with proof-of-concept and the generation of robust intellectual property as key objectives. The Fund is designed to accommodate projects of varying magnitude, as appropriate. Its primary goal is to advance technologies to the point where additional support from industry and/or technology transfer is achieved.

Supported projects may include such areas as therapeutics, diagnostics/biomarkers, medical devices, or research instruments, among others. The expected goal of completed projects will be partnerships with industry, through licenses to existing biopharmaceutical companies and startup firms (some launched from the Fund-supported technology) or via major industry-sponsored research agreements. It is expected that these alliances will lead to additional industry-sponsored research support. The Fund is structured as a sustainable, “evergreen” program, with a portion of the revenue from successfully launched technologies cycled back to support ongoing and future Fund projects.

The Fund and the progress of its supported projects are managed by the Office of Cooperative Research (OCR) under the auspices of the Office of the Provost, in consultation with an independent Investment Advisory Board comprising leaders from the various sectors of the business and investment community.

Pilot grants are eligible for up to $100,000

Development grants are eligible for up to $300,000

Projects will be assessed by an external Advisory Committee composed of industry leaders

Project selection criteria:

  • Research addresses an important unmet need
  • Strong indication of commercial interest
  • Technology is near a “value inflection point”
  • Technology is patentable with freedom to operate
  • Engaged, committed principal investigator

*A presentation on the Blavatnik Fund is available here.*