Innovation Challenge


CONNECTICUT INNOVATION CHALLENGE -Application Deadline Date extended until 2/28/2013


The Connecticut Innovation Challenge is the newest initiative to advance innovative ideas to the marketplace and stimulate job and economic growth in the state. It supports an open innovation environment by fostering collaboration between industry and research institutions. The first round of challenges is focused on advanced materials and product development, and includes the key Connecticut industries and university strengths in aerospace and defense, energy, and diversified manufacturing. In this first cycle, competitively selected companies can be awarded funding of $150,000 for up to a one-year effort to address a challenge by advancing a solution to one or more of the stated topics.


In this open innovation landscape, no single organization has all the answers or capabilities.

Large firms have “outsourced” much of R&D and have become “systems integrators” and “solutions providers”, so they have an interest in accessing technologies and key suppliers that can bring new solutions to both emerging and growing market needs.

Small and mid-sized manufacturers have an interest in maintaining and extending their product life cycles, as well as developing and producing new products and processes to increase productivity and profitability.

Small, innovative technology firms are playing an increasingly important role in moving research to applications and commercialization, often working closely with universities to spin out or otherwise advance prior research for specific applications with commercial potential.

Universities can provide the talent and expertise, facilities and new ideas emanating from basic and applied research, and create revenue streams by working in collaboration with these other organizations.


Competitively selected small companies that team with universities will receive matching funds to address key challenges and develop new advanced products and manufacturing opportunities.

1. Challenge topics were identified by large companies

2. In response to a challenge topic, a small business must team with a university and develop a proposal.

3. Proposals will be reviewed by judges from the topic company as well as an independent reviewer,

using objective evaluation criteria and scoring.

4. Companies whose proposals are selected will be awarded funding


The challenge topics for this round of the Innovation Challenge are summarized below.

1. Smart Grid Technologies to Advance Micro Grids:Innovative Technologies for integration into a micro grid including metering and instrumentation, cyber security and related issues.

2. Adding value to Biomass pathways – involving biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power or bio-based chemicals.

3. Rechargeable power and enhanced display solutions for lightweight, portable and handheld applications.

4. Manufacturing Process Improvements, including Capability to address distortion during heat treatment, and Process conversion from press to autoclave curing.

For a detailed explanation, and application instructions, please see the full RFP


If you are a college/university with relevant research or a company with a relevant idea and need a partner, please place or view a classified ad. If you have questions or would like to discuss further, contact Roberta Rossi 860 257 2338.

6. FAQ

Need more information?


Roberta Rossi 860 257 2338 or

Deb Santy 860 257 2893

Need a partner?

Steps in the Process for all Challenge Topics:

  1. Sign In
  2. Review the RFP -scroll below the document and click the "download" button
  3. Review the FAQ document-scroll below the document and click the "download" button
  4. Download the IC Application Cover Page -scroll below the document and click the "download" button
  5. Complete the information, and upload the completed form. Please use the name of your company and the Research Institute name as your title : ex. ABC Company/XYZ College. Since this is a public page, please do not submit your proposal at this time.
  6. Wait for response from our office. We will set up a secure, private space for your proposal.