MSU MTRAC Program

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The MSU Innovation Center and the Office of the Vice President for Research are proud to support the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Innovation Hub for AgBio, co-funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Accelerating commercial development, eligible MTRAC AgBio research relate to food, fuel & fiber, either as inputs or outputs. This includes bio-derived/bio-based materials, natural resources and animal health. 

Projects will have shown promise in the laboratory, but need further development to become successful in a competitive market. The goal of the MTRAC program is to translate research into the commercial market by way of a license or startup. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who can submit proposals to the MTRAC for AgBio Innovation Hub?

This program is open to all technologies that are AgBio related. Applicants must be from institutions of higher education, non-profit research centers, and hospital systems in Michigan. Relevant technology must have an invention disclosure filed and have an identified commercial application. Technology should be translational -- this program is not intended to extend basic research.

Is there a matching fund requirement?

Yes. A funding match of 50% is required from applicant institution.

What is the process for submissions of proposals?

Proposals will be accepted from investigators at any Michigan institute of higher education, non-profit research center and hospital system.

MTRAC AgBio Full awards have a proposal deadline in November with a $100K budget max.

MTRAC AgBio Starter awards have a proposal deadline in August and January, with a $25K budget max.

What are eligibility requirements?

Projects must come from institutions of higher learning, hospitals & nonprofit research centers; Projects must have 1-to-1 matching funds; Invention disclosure must be filed with institution of origin; Project must be translational research.

Projects involving already-licensed technologies are ineligible for MTRAC funding

What kind of projects will be funded?

Researchers can apply for funding to help drive agriculture-related technology toward commercialization, including but not limited to support for prototype development, milestone setting, animal trials, scale-up studies, crop trials, and verification studies.

Awards range up to $100k.

How I write a successful proposal?

Interested investigators are asked to schedule a pre-proposal idea consultation with the MTRAC AgBio program.

In all award applications, please use submission templates.

What are the other Statewide Innovation Hubs?

MTRAC Innovation Hub for Life Sciences at University of Michigan

MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Applied Materials at Michigan Tech

MTRAC Innovation Hub for Transportation at University of Michigan

How are awardees selected?

All funding decisions are made by an Oversight Committee including entrepreneurs, external industry and venture capital participants

How much will be in the fund? Over what time period?

MTRAC is supported with funds from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the remainder coming from partner institutions for a total of $2.27M, these funds are focused on one of Michigan’s core strengths: AgBio science and technologyThe hub will have a regular budget approval process with the MSF.

Contact Information

Questions not answered above? Please contact MSU MTRAC Program Director Kevin McCurren (mccurren@msu.edu, 517.884.1824) or MSU MTRAC Program Manager Weian Ou (517.884.1659).