University City Science Center - QED Accelerator


We are pleased to announce to faculty members developing early-stage life science and healthcare technologies that they are now able and welcome to apply for the University City Science Center QED Accelerator program.

The program, now in its 12th year of operation was created to support early-stage university technologies with strong market potential, and it has now funded more than 40 projects for a total of $8m. In 2020, Princeton joined 21 other universities and research institutions from across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware in signing a participation agreement to enable its researchers to access the program.

QED is a two stage program. In the first stage, a dozen finalists are selected from across the region and given access to key resources to facilitate the commercial development of early-stage technologies including:

  • customized business mentorship
  • preparation of a funding plan
  • exposure to investors and industry representatives
  • access to regulatory and legal specialists

Principal investigators are matched with business advisors with relevant domain expertise, and work as a team over 8-10 weeks to develop proof-of-concept plans, which are then pitched to a panel of experienced life science investors and industry experts.

In the second stage, up to three teams will be awarded one-year support of up to $200,000 each to conduct the work proposed in the proof-of-concept plan, covering research expenses for the next steps in the technology’s development. Funding for each awarded project is contributed equally by the Science Center and the researcher’s home institution.


To be eligible, researchers must be developing technologies created to solve a health problem and improve quality of life, including but not limited to:

  • Therapies/Biologics
  • Medical Devices
  • In Vitro Diagnostics
  • Biomaterials
  • Dental Technologies

Technologies can be at any stage of development (ideation, pre-clinical, or clinical), but should have applied for patent protection via the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL).

Interested researchers will work with the OTL to complete and submit a five-page application that summarizes the technology, the anticipated market need, proposed technical and commercial plan and intellectual property status.


Proposals are reviewed, and the finalists and ultimate award winners are chosen by an expert panel, selected by the University City Science Center. Selections are made on the basis of not only scientific merit, but also:

  • Market opportunity and competitiveness
  • Significant improvement over current standard of care or current solution in the market
  • Potential IP position
  • Probability of attracting follow-on funding

Key Dates and Time Commitment

The final deadline for QED applications for the 2021 program is Friday 21st May.

However, an early application deadline of Wednesday 7th April also allows prospective applicants to receive feedback on their applications and recommendations for edits in advance of the final deadline.

The finalists will be selected on July 1st, and are expected to attend a brief orientation session between August 10th-12th. This kicks off the 8-10 week development period during which the researchers will be expected to meet with their advisory teams once a week, culminating in the submission of Proof-of-Concept plans on October 5th, and final presentations between December 2nd-4th.

The final award winners will be announced on January 10th 2022.


The full QED application can be obtained on request from the Office of Technology Licensing by contacting one of the following:

Tony Williams, New Ventures Associate, [email protected].

Prabhpreet Gill, Licensing Associate, [email protected]

Chris Wright, Licensing Associate, [email protected]

Faculty are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas with the OTL prior to submission, particularly as QED regulations require the OTL to submit the final application. The OTL team are also very happy to answer any questions you may have about the program and the application process.