Commercialization & ENTR REsearch (CENTRE) Funding Initiative

Sponsored by the

Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship

The CENTRE funding is an initiative of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at UMBC and provides funds up to $15,000 for research that leads to potential commercialization of a product or service.  Any UMBC faculty with Primary Investigator (PI) eligibility conducting research in either technical fields (technical entrepreneurship), or social/behavioral/policy/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, such as filing for a patent (if applicable), being involved in commercializing the research outcomes, etc.  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 must contain the sections and content outlined below. In addition, proposals must adhere to prescribed format requirements (proposals that deviate from the formatting instructions will be returned without review):

  • Cover Page: (limited to a single page using 11 pt font or larger with 1″ margins – valued at 10% of proposal)
    1. Name of Primary Investigator, title, department, contact information
    2. Proposal Title
    3. Amount requested
    4. Abstract (limited to 300 words): Should include what the proposed work is about, why it should be funded, potential for commercial or social impact
    5. Name and signature of the department’s Chair (separate email from the Chair supporting the proposal is also fine)
  • Research Page: Concept Idea (limited to a single page using 11 pt font or larger with 1″ margins – valued at 50% of proposal): NOTE: The research component should be written in plain language that someone with a university degree in a different discipline than the proposer’s should be able to understand the content.
    1. Description of the research to be done. Emphasis should be given on the problem, its  importance and the 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
  • Milestones, timeline, and budget page: (limited to a single page using 11 pt font or larger with 1″ margins – valued at 40% of proposal):
    1. Milestones with a specific timeline (valued at 10% of proposal)
    2. Metrics to measure each milestone (valued at 10% of proposal)
    3. Budget costs with justification for each item. Funds can be used towards student stipend, tuition (graduate and/or undergraduate), equipment, etc. (valued at 10% of proposal)
    4. Commercialization plan to move the research beyond the university (valued at 10% of proposal). Commercialization examples include but are not limited to:
      • Launching a startup
      • Filing for a patent
      • Involvement with bwtech
      • Participation/collaboration with startups
      • Funded through TEDCO  or UMBC Catalyst
      • Involvement with student entrepreneurs, 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 due date: April 1. Email proposals to Vivian Armor, Program Manager ( and George Karabatis (
  • Proposal reviews: The submitted proposals are reviewed by early Summer
  • Announcement of Award(s): June 1
  • Start date: Beginning of Fall semester
  • End date: End of Spring semester (start-date and end-date must be 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 (