CENTRE Funding Initiative

The CENTRE funding is an initiative of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at UMBC and provides funds for research that leads to potential commercialization of a product or service. Any UMBC faculty, full time or adjunct, conducting research in either technical fields (technical entrepreneurship), or social/humanities fields (social entrepreneurship) is encouraged to apply for funding. Faculty who receive funds through this initiative are expected to have a commercialization plan to move their research beyond the university. This could include filing a patent (if applicable), publishing their research results and/or being involved in commercializing the research outcomes. CENTRE funding prepares faculty for TEDCO MII funding (State of Maryland), Catalyst Funds, or possible awards from NEA, NSF, NIH, etc. Interdisciplinary collaborations (e.g. from humanities and technology) with faculty from different UMBC departments are strongly encouraged. Proposals submitted to the CENTRE initiative should contain the following sections:

  • Cover Page (1 page using 12 pt font and 1″ margins) – valued at 10% of the proposal)
  1. Name of Primary Investigator, department, contact information
  2. Amount requested
  3. Abstract (limited to 300 words using 12 pt font and 1″ margins): Should include what it is about, why it should be funded, the potential for commercial or social impact
  4. Signature of the department’s Chair (email from the Chair is also fine)
  • Research Component: Concept Idea or White paper ( only 1 page using 12 pt font and 1″margins. Limited to 800 words) – valued at 60% of the proposal): NOTE: The research component should be written in plain language so someone with a university degree in a different discipline should be able to understand the content.
  1. Description of the research to be done. Emphasis should be given on the importance of the problem and novelty of the proposed solution.
  2. Existing attempts to solve the problem and why they did not come to fruition.
  3. Preliminary results (if any) or indications suggesting that the proposed work is viable
  4. Commercialization plan to move the research beyond the university.
  • Milestones, timeline, and budget (only 1 page using 12 pt font and 1″ margins) – valued at 30% of the proposal):
  1. Milestones with a specific timeline
  2. Metrics to measure each milestone
  3. Budget costs with justification for each item. Funds can be used towards student stipend, tuition (graduate and/or undergraduate), faculty summer salary, equipment, etc.

Award amount: Proposers may request up to a maximum of $15,000 for a period of one academic year.

Important Dates

  • Call For Proposals: every Spring semester
  • Submission date: April 1. Email proposals to Vivian Armor, Program Manager, (armor@umbc.edu) and George Karabatis (georgek@umbc.edu)
  • Proposal reviews: The submitted proposals are reviewed before the end of the spring semester.
  • Announcement of Award(s): June 1
  • Start date: Beginning of Fall semester
  • End date: End of Spring semester (start and end date are in the same academic year)

Evaluating Committee

  • ENTR Faculty Fellows
  • Director of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Program Manager of the Alex. Brown Center
  • Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • Director of ENTR Minor
  • Director of Office of Technology Development

Distribution of Funds and mid-year review

  1. The funds are transferred at the beginning of the Fall semester following submission of the proposal. They are to be used during the same academic year (Fall and Spring)
  2. At around the mid-point of the effort, there will be a review showcasing successful completion of the milestones up to that point and ensuring progress towards the final goal

Questions? Feel free to contact George Karabatis (georgek@umbc.edu).