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Central Virginia Node 2023: Innovation and Commercialization Grant FY24

Due Dec. 15, 2023

Team works on laptop

CCI’s Central Virginia Node (CVN), led by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), seeks to fund projects that will result in either an operational prototype or further a start-up/product in its development. 

The principal investigator (PI) should reach the point of applying for a Small Business Innovation Research or a Small Business Technology Transfer program.

The proposals should support business projects related to CVN’s focus areas,  which include:

  • Cyber-physical systems.
  • Autonomous systems.
  • IoT as it applies to medical device security.
  • Smart city technology. 

Funded projects aim to support specific objectives and should result in one of the following:

  • An operational prototype.
  • Furtherence of a start-up/product in its development such that the PI applies for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
  • Projects that relate directly to CCI’s overall mission and CVN’s research focus areas and aim to produce novel research.
  • Experiential learning projects that enhance students’ essential skills to enter the cybersecurity workforce when they complete their studies.

Applications from under-represented groups are particularly welcome, as are applications from researchers who have not previously engaged with CCI. Women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Applicants must be a full-time faculty member or a full-time faculty-led team at any CVN institution. If a team, at least one member must be a full-time faculty member at a CVN institution who will serve as the PI and main point of contact. Teams may also include students. 

Faculty members can serve as PI on one application, and as a co-PI on another. 

The PI must either:

  • Demonstrate plans for an operational prototype and have a budget that reflects that goal.
  • Already have a prototype in place and be ready to take their business to the next level. 
  • Propose a novel research project limited to the focus areas of:
    • Cyber physical systems.
    • Autonomous systems.
    • IoT as it applies to medical device security and smart city technology.
    • An experiential learning project, aligned with CCI’s mission and focus areas, that exposes students to experiences in industry.

Budgets must be approved by the home institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), or your institution’s equivalent, before the proposal deadline.


  • Total funding amount: $ 20,000
  • Award amount: $ 10,000
  • Cost share: No cost share required.
  • Reports: Periodic reports must be submitted. 

PIs and co-PIs must participate in CVN meetings, present research findings at CVN and CCI poster sessions, and respond to data collection requests by CCI.

 Any publications that result from this project must include this statement:

This work was supported [in part] by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, an investment in the advancement of research, innovation, and workforce development at the intersection between cybersecurity, autonomous systems, and intelligence, under the contract number xcxxx. 

Contract numbers will be assigned during the award process.

Find more information about CCI.

Request for Proposals Released Nov. 15, 2023
Last Day for Q&A Nov. 29, 2023
Proposals Due Dec. 15, 2023
Award Notification Jan. 15, 2024
Project Date Feb. 1, 2024 – Jan. 31, 2025

Proposal Format

Proposals must use 1-inch margins, 11-point font (Calibri or Arial), and single-line spacing. Follow this outline:

1. Summary (one page)

  • Title of proposed project, contact information for Principal Investigator (PI) and co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs)/team members.
  • Summary: Describe the IP or research concept being applied to this project. Demonstrate market need or problem to be solved. Identify next steps for the project and how the team plans to measure success.

Read an example of a summary.

2. Proposed project (up to four pages)

  • Define market size and commercial uses for product.
  • Describe how the team plans to find funders and potential customers.
  • Describe current status of project and measurable steps the team will take if awarded this funding.

3. Plan for Impact on the Commonwealth (up to one page). Address how the commercialization of this product will impact the Commonwealth.

4. Budget (one page)

  • Budget items and justification. No indirect costs are allowed.
  • Budget must be approved by OSP

5. Biographical sketches (up to three pages per PI, co-PI)

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be submitted to by the project PI no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. All proposals must be submitted as a single PDF document. 

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers and scored according to specific criteria:

  • Strong intellectual merit related to CCI’s mission (20 percent)
  • Strong broader impacts related to CCI’s mission (20 percent)
  • Relevance to industry needs (20 percent)
  • Potential to generate additional funding and revenue (20 percent)
  • Strong relevance to CVN’s focus areas (20 percent)

More information

For questions or technical assistance in submitting an application, contact