Daedalus Fund for Innovation

Launched in 2014, the Daedalus Fund for Innovation is a unique initiative designed to advance early-stage, applied and translational research projects that have clear, relatively near-term commercial potential. The core objective is to ensure that when academic research with commercial potential is still considered too early for industry or venture investment, resources are made available to bridge the funding gap and accelerate research projects to the point at which they would be considered "partnership ready" with a goal of building a robust data validation package and generating (or strengthening) solid intellectual property positions to attract investment and commercialization partners from industry and the venture community.

Daedalus funds are awarded to Weill Cornell Medicine researchers in two categories:

Level I: Funding of up to $200K will be awarded to the researcher’s laboratory for a period of 12 months. Level I funding may be utilized to support preliminary proof-of-concept activities that (if successful) would establish a potential basis for a subsequent Level II proposal (provided that additional funding is required).

Level II: Funding of up to $200K to the researcher’s laboratory per year may be awarded for a period of 2 years, as appropriate. Every Level II proposal will be formally reviewed at the end of the first year upon receipt of the first year's progress report, which is mandatory. Approval of the second year of funding will be strictly contingent upon the achievement of proposed technical milestones or value inflection points that must be specified in the body of the proposal.

Funding will be used to advance inventions toward licensing, startup creation, or industry partnerships. Weill Cornell Medicine researchers with active inventions that have been disclosed to Center for Technology Licensing are eligible to apply.

Recipients of Daedalus funding are selected through a stringent review process and approved projects are funded at the level deemed necessary to achieve the proposed research objectives. Submissions are reviewed by an independent external Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) comprising recognized scientific and thought leaders drawn from the biopharmaceutical and venture capital communities. The SAC utilizes industry-grade investment criteria to help select the most competitive and impactful proposals for funding based on scientific/technical merit, need, and commercial potential. The SAC is also charged with responsibility to help assess the progress of funded projects. Successful proposals will be those that are milestone-driven and designed to reach specified value-inflection points within the funding period.

The Daedalus Fund for Innovation holds periodic Requests for Proposals. Please see below or visit the "Research and Industry Collaboration Opportunities" page for details. 

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Placanica, senior managing director, Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine, at (646) 962-7046 or lmp26@cornell.edu