Ignite Innovation Acceleration is one of the four Ignite signature programs. Funding is provided in form of grants to labs to advance inventions toward licensing, startup formation or industry partnerships. The program is open to inventions that have been disclosed to CTL from Ithaca, Geneva or Cornell Tech campuses. Two application cycles per year in the spring or fall semester.

Annually 12-16 projects will be awarded, mostly in the funding range up to $50K. A limited number of projects may be invited for a second tranche.



Who Qualifies ?

Applications are welcomed from faculty, research staff and/or graduate students with Cornell innovations from Cornell’s Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses.


  • Technologies used in the application have been disclosed to the Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University (CTL).

  • Previously funded CTAM or Ignite projects are eligible for additional funding when justified.

  • Only one application from an eligible PI or faculty research lab will be considered per Cycle.

  • The WCM campus has a separate funding program for technologies originated from the WCM campus; and projects that are eligible for funding under the Daedalus Program are not eligible for Ignite funding.


Applications are accepted during one of two cycles per year held in the Spring and Fall. Communications regarding the application cycle are coordinated by CTL who also offers information sessions throughout the open application period. Applications may be submitted through the CTL website via the InfoReady software platform.



Application Process

Step one: call for proposals
  • Two cycles: Spring & Fall
  • Marketed to Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses for inventors to apply
  • Info sessions and application support
step two: external advisor review
  • Proposals reviewed by external Technology Advisors
  • Applicants submit presentation recording in preparation for Committee selection
step three: committee selection
  • Applicants meet the committee for Q&A
  • The committee selects projects for funding
  • For Prime projects, 2nd tranche decision
step four: work and impact
  • 12-month long project
  • Progress and final reports
  • Showcase results
  • Track impact

Application Process

The next application cycle of Ignite Innovation Acceleration is in the Spring 2024.

Application Period Opens: April 1st, 2024
Application Deadline: May 17th, 2024, at noon

(After pre-selection) Submitted pre-recorded presentation: May 31st, 2024, at noon
Q&A Session Day: June 7th, 2024 (tentative)

Upcoming Information Sessions

Info session 1: March 29 @ Noon. Register here.

Info session 2: April 10 @ Noon. Register here.

Info session 3: April 22 @ Noon. Register here.

Applications for the 2024 Spring cycle are now open through May 20.