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Product Innovation Award Application



Download the Product Innovation Awards Budget Template

Synopsis of Program

The TEC Innovates Product Innovations Award program is designed to accelerate development of innovations in thermal and environmental controls (TEC) by supporting projects that assist firms in Central New York’s TEC industry cluster develop and test proof-of-concepts of new products. Awards of up to $7,500 are available for short-term projects of 9 months or less. Awards are intended to have the following results:

  • Support product development, testing and validation efforts;
  • Reduce the time to market for new products;
  • Lower the risk to firms for product development; and
  • Engage Central New York’s abundance of student talent in support of company-driven product development projects.

Examples of project might include:

  • Independent testing/validation of new products;
  • SyracuseCoE Analysis & Design Center resources providing computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and other computational software services;
  • Syracuse University engineering students working through programs, such as Syracuse University’s Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) Co-op/Internship Program;
  • “Capstone” design projects performed by teams of students under the supervision of faculty, such as those offered through Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science Mechanical Engineering Program; and
  • Product testing resources available from faculty, students and staff from SyracuseCoE academic partner institutions (Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY Oswego).

Eligibility Information

Eligibility for awards is extended to all companies in the Thermal and Environmental Controls industry cluster in the 12 counties of central upstate New York.

Due to the source of funding for this project, a DUNS# and active registration are required.

Award Information

Minimum Award: $1,000

Maximum Award: $7,500

Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 20 awards over 2 years

Project Duration: Six months from execution of contract. (Nine months for projects that will be performed by a team of students for academic-year long projects.)

Proposals will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of reviewers within 2 weeks of receipt, and funding decisions may be expected shortly thereafter. Assessment criteria includes:

  • Extent to which proposal moves technology toward commercialization
  • Technical merit, based on sound engineering and/or scientific principles
  • Likelihood of technological success
  • Significance of potential market opportunity
  • Budget appropriate to scope of proposed project
  • Measurable and verifiable technical and performance goals
  • Qualifications and strength of project team
  • Evidence of strong past performance on relevant projects

In all cases, the review process will be conducted under the oversight of the Executive Director of SyracuseCoE with staff support.

Sources and Uses of Funds

Funding for Product Innovation Awards originates from an award to SyracuseCoE and CenterState CEO from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Funding can be used for project expenses including personnel, materials, and services provided by third parties.

Funding for follow-on projects to Product Innovation Awards may be available from multiple sources. SyracuseCoE staff will assist companies in optimizing the use of each funding source to achieve the goals and objectives that each company has for its project.

Budget, Payment, and Match Requirements

Applicants must upload a budget signed by an authorized company official, a template for which may be found on the TEC Innovates Product Innovation Awards program web site.

Matching funds totaling 25 percent of the total project are required as company cash and/or in-kind contributions. Funding from federal, state, and foundation sources may be used to support a portion of matching funds; awards administered by SyracuseCoE may not be used as match.

Applications must include a budget that clearly defines uses of funds, as well as verifiable sources of matching funds.


Projects that include roles for Syracuse University students, faculty and/or staff may be administered by SyracuseCoE in collaboration with the awardee.

Projects that do not include roles for Syracuse University students, faculty and/or staff will be administered by the company. Invoices may be submitted upon completion of pre-approved milestones or at the completion of the project. A progress report must accompany each invoice. Progress reports submitted with invoices will be reviewed and approved by SyracuseCoE staff prior to payment and must include an update on cost-share spending.

Reporting Requirements

Award recipients will be surveyed periodically by SyracuseCoE staff for information on outcomes related to the project, including jobs created and/retained, increased sales, patent and license information, etc.

Program Contact

Tammy Rosanio
Associate Director for Partner Programs, SyracuseCoE
Program Manager, TEC Innovates
315.430.8284  |