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How to Engage

FlexTR constantly accept pre-proposals with innovative ideas of translational technologies. Submission is acepted at any time, although there will be 4 target dates each year to allow timely feedback from the Sientific Committee review that convenes on a quarterly basis. Please contact Hongping Yan (FlexTR Assistant Director) for more details.


Funding Opportunities: FlexTR Type T & I

Two major categories of projects are desired (relevant to these areas): 
  1. "FlexTR Type T (Translational)" will be funded for a preferred period of 12 months (extension is possible for a total duration up to 18 months);
  2. "FlexTR Type I (Initiative)" is divided into two Phases: Phase I will be funded for a preferred period of 18 months (extension is possible for a total duration up to 24 months); If further development is necessary and proposed, a successfully completed Phase I project may be invited for Phase II(with total duration of two phases up to 36 months).


The research must relate directly to these areas. Each proposal will be evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, potential impact and significance, and the potential for commercialization. Specifically, the following criteria will be used by proposal reviewers:

  1. Technical strength - Uniqueness of proposed technologies, advantages over competing technologies, IP position;
  2. Market Appropriateness - Market size, growth rate, current players and competitions in the market, potential market entry barriers, potential time needed to market;
  3. Manufacturability - Potential to scale up for commercialization, availability and costs of raw materials and manufacturing equipment;
  4. Team - Assembled team with relevant experience and expertise, both single and multiple PI proposals are considered;
  5. Project plan - Cohesiveness of research plan and reasonable budget;
  6. Status of proposed idea - Proof-of-concept work availability; feasibility and risk of the proposed idea 

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Proposal Submission and Review Process

1       Pre- and full proposals preparation

The pre-proposal should describe the project from designated perspectives listed in its template, addressing the most-relevant aspects to BICI’s mission compatibility criteria (including listing previous work completed in related area). The pre-proposal will be reviewed by both the Scientific Committee and BICI’s technology experts.  
It is strongly suggested that applicants have a discussion with Dr. Hongping Yan of your intended project outline before submission of pre-proposals.
IMPORTANT: Background IPs for proposed project need to be available for potential licensing. Like any sponsored project awards, this funding may not be co-mingled with other funds at any time.  We encourage all applicants to contact Linda Chao at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing ( for a list of your invention disclosures submitted to Stanford.
Selected pre-proposals will be invited for a full proposal submission. This notification, along with detailed guidelines, will be sent two months prior to the due date for full proposals. More instructions for full proposal can be found in the template (Appendix III). BICI will help to carry out detailed market analysis to complete the full proposal .

2       Submission

Pre-proposals and full proposals should be submitted in the form of PDF files via Email to Dr. Hongping Yan.

3       Proposal Review Process

The review of the full proposals will be conducted by the Scientific Committee members and external industrial experts. Please note that our reviewers will maintain full confidentiality of all submitted proposals. The reviewers will evaluate technical feasibility and translational values, with objectives in identifying projects that are consistent with the goals of this solicitation. In specific, BICI will conduct detailed market and technical evaluations, as well as several rounds of getting clarifications from PIs regarding potential market, technical details and IP positions. 


After completion of initial evaluation and review, BICI-USA will present recommendations of selected proposed projects, together with review comments from technical, market and industrial experts, to the BICI's Investment Committee Meeting for final funding approval. The PI will be expected to participate in clarifications of outstanding questions, if any, during this evaluation process.

It is expected that the entire proposal review process may take 3-6 months.[1]

4       Awards

The PI(s) will be contacted directly by Dr. Hongping Yan if the proposed work is awarded funding. Extra paperwork and processing will be continued between BICI and Stanford University, which could take up to 30 days.

5       Budgets

Funds may be used for salary support of faculty, graduate students and tuition, as well as other research staff, but may not be used for general staff or administrative support. Operating supplies, minor equipment items, prototyping expenses, imaging time and travel directly associated with the research activity are examples of eligible budget items. Fund budget will be depended on the need of the project, and may be eligible for renewal. Requests for larger amounts should be discussed with FlexTR Director (Prof. Zhenan Bao) before submission.

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[1] It is time-demmanding for BICI to form evaluations of proposed projects, especially when a proposal is lack of market insights. This process, however, is critical and benefitial as it helps to identity the best directions and approaches and fine tune the proposal and project plan. Generally, projects with a total budget over $375,000 will go through a relatively longer review process.


Funding Opportunities: Exploratory I & II

General information:
  1. The terms of the agreements follow those in the master agreement;
  2. Flexible Electronics Collaboratory Scientific Committee reviews proposals and makes funding decisions;
  3. The total numbers of projects supported depends on the size of the projects (measured by the number of graduate students or postdoctoral researchers supported). The level of support for each project is one graduate student or one postdoc for Exploratory I project and up to two graduate students or postdocs for Exploratory II projects;
  4. There will be two types of exploratory projects: “Exploratory I” and “Exploratory II”:
    • “Exploratory I”:
      • 1-year maximum for testing a new concept;
      • No preliminary result is needed;
      • Great future commercial potential and large potential market.
    • “Exploratory II”:
      • 2-year maximum;
      • Proof-of-concept preliminary results already exist, however, further research is needed to determine potential for practical application;
      • Great future commercial potential and large potential market.
  • The future of these exploratory projects: if successful, PIs can apply subsequent funding from the Flexible Electronics Collaboratory as either FlexTR I or FlexTR T projects. The transition routes are shown in the above graph. Notice that the future of both “Exploratory I” and “Exploratory II” projects are expected to develop into projects within “FlexTR Type I” or “FlexTR Type T” pursing today. “Exploratory I” does not have to go through “Exploratory II”.
  • How to apply:

    To start applying for the "Exploratory" funds, please fill the brief Intention Pitching Form (PDF) and send it to Dr. Hongping Yan, or simply complete and submit the online form.
    Here is a preview of the form:

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