COMM: The Kentucky Commercialization Fund Program
The Kentucky Commercialization Fund (COMM) supports efforts made by faculty in the Kentucky to commercialize a technology, product, or process that they have developed but not yet licensed.
Kentucky universities and colleges may be eligible to apply; see the "Program Description, Proposal Preparation, and Submission Instructions" for eligibility details for the current solicitation. Companies are not eligible to apply for COMM.
Applicants who have been delinquent in submitting reports -- including both active and post (annual professional activity and achievements) reporting for previous KSEF RDE and/or COMMFUND awards may not be invited to apply for future rounds of funding. Before initiating an application, be sure all reports and deliverables are current.
Reporting deadlines are defined in the signed contract and are not flexible. Each PI can view all of his/her reporting deadlines by signing in to the online reporting system at http://commfund.kstc.com for the Kentucky Commercialization Fund: COMM (and http://applications.kstc.com for the Research and development Excellence Program: RDE).
Applicants who have been delinquent in submitting reports -- including both active and post (annual professional activity and achievements) for previous KSEF RDE and/or COMM awards -- may not be invited to apply for future rounds of funding. Before initiating an application, be sure all reports and deliverables are current.
HOW TO APPLY FOR COMM-016
A. Important Considerations
- Before You Start -- Carefully read "How to Apply", the Program Description, Proposal Preparation, and Submission Instructions", any tutorials, and "Important Dates".
- Logging In -- The login and password must be the PI's data. Do NOT use the email login/password of a consultant, Co-PI, Program Manager, administrator, or other lab/team member.
- Requirements and Limitations -- All required information must be entered even if the online system does not prompt the applicant to complete the fields missing data. For example, be sure to include the organization name, PI's complete physical address (not PO Box), key words, areas of expertise, etc. Similarly, formatting limitations must be adhered to even if the oneline system does not indicate the size has been exceeded (e.g. maximum word count or page limits).
- Application Submission and Confirmation -- KSEF must receive the complete electronic submission no later than 4:00 PM ET on the due date. Each submission is electronically time-stamped.
- Upon successful completion of application submission, the PI will receive an email confirmation containing the final PDF rendering. If the PI does not receive the email with PDF, then the application has NOT been submitted and the PI should contact the Program Director by email via
by no later than 1:00 PM for problem-resolution and application submission completion by the PI before the submission deadline.
- The applicant is solely responsible for reviewing the email with PDF to confirm all data is entered as desired, no content is missing, any page limitations and/or formatting requirements are adhered to on the final PDF rendering. Should changes be necessary, the PI should contact the Program Director by email via
by no later than 1:00 PM for the application to be unlocked. Revision and resubmission by the PI must be completed before the submission deadline.
- Proposals submitted on or around the time of closing are more likely to run into server errors and high internet traffic. It is the applicant's responsibility to consider the risk of submission failure at a time of high demand. The applicant is solely responsible for timely submission.
- Eligibility -- Specifically for the COMM-016 round of funding, eligibility is limited to Kentucky REGIONAL colleges and universities only, i.e. accredited Kentucky colleges EXCEPT the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
- Presentation Slides -- As you prepare your Pre-Proposal, work on your slides for your possible presentation. If invited for a face-to-face interview, there will only be a day or two from the COMM Pre-Proposal closing date to the date of your face-to-face interview and presentation at the KSTC headquarters in Lexington.
- Carefully review "Important Considerations" above. Begin a Pre-Proposal application via http://commfund.kstc.com on the "Pre-Proposal" tab.Read the "Browser Compatibility" notice on the application log-in screen, and use a compatible browser on your system for entering data and submitting your application.
- Select keywords and areas of expertise thoughtfully and very carefully; these will be used to match reviewers. These should be distinct, specific, and not duplicated. Five keywords/phrases are required plus five additional/different areas of research of potential reviewers. Each keyword/phrase and each area of expertise must be entered as a separate line item via the +Add New... button (not listed in one line of text separated by commas).
- Use of Internet Explorer to "finalize and submit" is recommended. Prepare and submit the online LOI application before the submission deadline.
- All Pre-Proposals received on time will be reviewed for appropriateness and fit within the COMM program guidelines. A response, either positive or negative, will be given for each Pre-Proposal received. To be eligible for an invitation to submit a Full Proposal, a complete Pre-Proposal must be created and submitted online before the submission deadline. Email Submissions are not acceptable.
- The University must have filed a Provisional Patent, Non-Provisional Patent, or Registered Copyright at the time of Pre-Proposal submission.
- The final PDF rendering of the complete Pre-Proposal must not exceed SEVEN pages in length -- including the table of contents/cover page and all uploads and all attachments
C. Face-to-Face Interview and Presentation -- by Invitation Only
- Upon successful Pre-Proposal submission, carefully review the COMM Program Description/Instructions for face-to-face interview and presentation requirements including PowerPoint outline and content, time allotment, and other details.If appropriate, an invitation for a face-to-face interview will be scheduled on the identified dates (see COMM Important Dates/Deadlines) by KSEF Staff in consultation with the PI. Scheduling is on a first-come basis.
- The interview is required to be eligible for an invitation to submit a Full Proposal for funding consideration. If the PI cannot attend the interview on the identified dates, the Pre-Proposal may not be considered for invitation to submit a Full Proposal.
- The only person KSEF requires to attend the face-to-face interview is the PI, as it is the PI who must give the presentation. If the PI desires for his/her Co-PI, Program Manager, etc. to be present, those colleagues are welcome to attend but their participation is solely at the discretion and direction of the PI.
- Face-to-face interviews take place at KSTC headquarters, 200 West Vine Street, Fourth Floor, Suite 420, Lexington, KY 40507. Click here for parking information and driving directions.
- Face-to-face interviews will be completed before the date(s) published for invitations to submit a Full Proposal and Full Proposal online application opening.
D. Full Proposal -- by Invitation Only
- Carefully review "Important Considerations" above. Begin a Full Proposal application via http://commfund.kstc.com. Read the "Browser Compatibility" notice on the application log-in screen, and use a compatible browser on your system for entering data and submitting your application.
- Use of Internet Explorer to "finalize and submit" is recommended.
- The budget worksheet document download is in Excel XLS format. Do NOT save the budget file in the newer XLSX format. Be sure to retain the XLS format for the upload budget file, saving it as Microsoft Office Excel 97-2003 worksheet. If uploading a scan of the signed budget page in the Full Proposal applicatoin, use the highest quality scan available (color preferred).
- Limit the file names for PDF uploads within the application to a maximum of 25 characters. Do not include spaces or special characters such as ! @ # $ % () ;  in the PDF file names.
- BEFORE YOU SUBMIT -- Check each area of your Full Proposal and confirm compliance with the mandatory formatting requirements (e.g. line spacing, font and font size, margins) and page limitations for each section. See "RFP Program Description, Proposal Preparation, and Submission Instructions" for details (especially "Reasons for Disqualification of Submitted Full Proposals). Proposals not compliant with required formats will be disqualified and not considered for review.
- The final PDF rendering of the complete Full Proposal must not exceed 30 pages in length -- including the table of contents/cover page, all uploads, and all attachments. The text must display as four lines of text on any given vertical inch of the final PDF rendering; do not reduce the font size or margins to accommodate more information. See "RFP Program Description, Proposal Preparation, and Submission Instructions" for details Proposals not compliant with required formats will be disqualified and not considered for review.