SCRA’s SC Academic Innovations is requesting applications from multi-institutional, collaborative research teams that will advance commercially relevant research and address key industry challenges to foster technology-enabled growth of the state’s innovation economy.





Research Universities:  Up to $1,800,000
Comprehensive Teaching Universities and Technical Colleges: Up to $900,000

June 16, 2020 to September 15, 2020

30-36 months

The deadline for submission of Pre-Application Forms is September 15, 2020. This form is mandatory and must be signed by the Authorized Organizational/Institutional Representative. Full Applications will be accepted by invitation only. Refer to the solicitation for additional details.


Please email us to schedule a one-on-one question and answer session with Kella Player Hanna, Program Manager.


SCRA is requesting applications from multi-institutional, collaborative teams that will provide measurable outcomes within the scope of this Funding Opportunity. Proposals must either advance commercially relevant research or acquire equipment that will be used by multiple academic institutions and be made available on a state-wide basis. Proposals must establish how the funding aligns with the Research Topic(s) outlined below and will lead to obtaining follow-on funding from sources such as industry and the federal government to continue development.

Priority will be given to applications that also engage a South Carolina-based industry partner to address key business challenges and opportunities. For applications engaging with an industry partner, applicants must provide an accompanying Letter of Support verifying the unmet need or a Letter of Commitment if the industry partner is providing cost share. Cost share from an industry partner may be cash or in-kind donations.

The ideal proposal will be based on the complementary or overlapping interests and objectives of academia and industry, where the relationship provides a promising opportunity for:

  • multi-institutional collaboration among South Carolina institutions of higher education to achieve greater impact, reach, and efficiency across the state;
  • public/private partnerships that leverage interests, assets, and expertise in a manner that fosters sustainable growth of the state’s innovation economy;
  • research that is differentiated at the national or regional level; and
  • innovations that generate a defensible and differentiated position in the marketplace.

Research Fields(s)*

  • Biomedical Sciences, specifically Medical Devices and Regenerative Medicine
  • Industry 4.0, including Supply Chain Logistics
  • Cybersecurity

*Additional details on the specific topics to be pursued under these Research Fields are outlined in the solicitation.

Eligibility Criteria:

This funding opportunities consists of two solicitations having separate eligibility requirements depending on the type of academic institution. Under the RU Solicitation, only Research Universities in South Carolina are eligible applicants. Under the CTU/TC Solicitation, only public Comprehensive Teaching Universities and Technical Colleges in South Carolina are eligible applicants.

All applications must include collaboration with a minimum of two degree-conferring, public institutions of post-secondary education in South Carolina. In order to qualify for larger award amounts, these collaborating institutions must be defined as an eligible applicant under the respective solicitation. Refer to the solicitation for award amounts and eligible applicants under each solicitation.

Previous Principal Investigators (PIs) of SACT grant funding are not eligible to submit under this solicitation during the performance period of their previous grant.


SCRA fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in academia, entrepreneurship, and industry. SCRA works with public and private sectors, including industry, to identify market trends and validate the commercial relevance of academic research that SCRA funds.

SCRA and the Research Universities (RUs – comprised of Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina and University of South Carolina) executed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement to build the state’s innovation economy (Collaboration Agreement), which is located in Appendix A. The Collaboration Agreement outlines the services SCRA will provide to deliver on the following goals:

  • Increase research funding via multi-institutional grants and other new funding vehicles
  • Create and advance early-stage, technology-based companies
  • Increase total capital investment
  • Form public/private partnerships generating growth of the state’s industry

The signatories of the Collaboration Agreement agreed that it would serve as the foundation for SCRA’s support not only to the RUs but to all public academic institutions within the state. To provide guidance to SCRA on the design and implementation of programs to fulfill the Collaboration Agreement, the SCRA-Academia Collaboration Team (SACT) was formed.

In addition to SACT funding, the SCRA Academic Programs division awards grant funding through the Academic Startup Assistance Program, the SBIR/STTR Matching Grant Program, and the Maturation and Prototyping Matching Grant to advance technologies or enable academic engagement with industry.


Contact the Academic Innovations Team