Holm Catalyst Fund


Established by an anonymous donor, the Bruce Holm Memorial Catalyst Fund supports commercializing inventions and discoveries  of UB faculty and students.

On this page:


Bruce Holm

The donation was made as a match challenge to finance prototype development, proof-of-concept studies and other research that advance UB faculty inventions and translate them into useful products and treatments benefiting society.

The fund also helps generate revenue for the start-up companies it supports. If fully met, the gift challenge would mean a total of up to $2 million for these efforts.

Holm Catalyst Fund Application

Please download the form and follow the application process as noted. Submit your application, any attachments and an NIH-style biosketch to JoAnn Ratajczak, Technology Transfer. ( jr254@buffalo.edu )

Grant details

The Holm Catalyst Fund grants support commercialization of inventions and discoveries.  It supports proof-of-concept, prototype development, toxicity testing and other technology related testing and development.  Project aims should decrease technical or business risk, strengthen or broaden intellectual property protection, validate competitive claims or answer specific industry questions.


  • Principal Investigator must be a UB faculty. Non-UB faculty and/or students may be co-investigators or collaborators.
  • A completed UB New Technology Disclosure (NTD) form must precede or accompany the application.
  • Existing industry connections are not a prerequisite for funding; however, all projects should have a clear commercial opportunity and benefit to the public good.

Review and Evaluation

The reviewers are scientists and experts in technical businesses, but may not have detailed knowledge of your specific field. Please write so that information can be understood by a person who does not necessarily have experience in the specific field of the discovery. Consider using Scientific American level explanations.

  • Projects will be evaluated on merit based on the following criteria:
    • Project Viability: How likely is it that the project aims can be achieved within budget and specified time frame?
    • Commercial Potential: If the project is successful, how likely is it that a commercial opportunity will develop?
    • Strength of IP protection: Has a patentability assessment been completed?  Was a patent application filed before publication?  Are U.S. and foreign country filings viable?  Does the protected intellectual property provide a strategic advantage to a licensee?
  • If the project is selected for funding, you will need to get institutional approval including IRB, animal use (if appropriate) and department/school approval before active funding starts.

Application Process

Please prepare the following information and include it with your application submission. Submit your application, any attachments, and an NIH-style biosketch to JoAnn Ratajczak, Technology Transfer, at jr254@buffalo.edu

Application Notes

  • Please use a font size of 11 points or larger.
    • We suggest Arial or Helvetica.
    • When inserting Greek letters or special characters, it must be 11 points or larger. 
    • You can use a smaller font size for figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, figure legends, and footnotes, but this type must follow the font typeface requirement and be readily legible.

1. Executive Summary

Summarize (3/4 page) the main elements of the proposal including the following Use a structured format including the following sections:

  • Market problem to be solved
  • The solution offered by this technology
  • Commercial feasibility and potential
  • Current stage of development
  • Specific aims and budget

2. Research to be Performed

Describe Research to be Performed (3 pages). Include the following:

  • Specific aims (maximum of 3). Each aim should address an issue important to transferring the discovery to a useable product or service. Describe the work to be performed to achieve each aim.  Include preliminary data that supports the feasibility of the project.
  • Expected results.
  • Discuss IRB, IACUC or other institutional approvals required to perform the work.
  • The time to complete the project should be less than six (6) months, unless there is rationale for a longer term (e.g. animal studies).

3. Commerical Feasibility

Address the following (2 pages):

  • Need for product or service
  • Developmental stage as it exists now
  • Potential users
  • Market size estimate
  • Primary competition and why your technology will win
  • Potential licensees (existing companies) or potential for start-up
  • If regulatory approvals are required, describe
  • Estimated time to market
  • Additional remaining market barriers or development needed for commercialization, if all of the aims are successfully met.

4. Disclose

Describe disclosure and patent status of any intellectual property involved (1/2 page). Provide Technology Transfer docket number.

5. Budget

Complete project budget provided in the template application that can be downloaded as a word document.           

  • Should not exceed $50,000.
  • UB personnel. Funding may not be used for faculty salary, but can be used for salaries of research staff and/or students.
  • Equipment. Do not include computers unless a portion of invention.
  • Materials and supplies. Consumables, animals, and other. Do not include office supplies.
  • Other expenses. You may include services from outside vendors, travel, and other expenses not covered in the other categories, if necessary to complete the aims. Changes may be made, if justified, during the course of the study.

6. Letters of Support

Preference will be given in the review process to projects that can demonstrate commercial interest. For example, a letter from a company or potential investor indicating that the project aims address a key technical question that needs to be addressed.

7. Include NIH-style biosketch(es)