Launched in 2014, Weill Cornell Medicine’s Daedalus Fund for Innovation is designed to advance early stage applied and translational research projects that have significant commercial potential. The core objective is to bridge the post-discovery/pre-commercial development gap and accelerate qualified projects to the point at which they would be considered “partnership ready,” i.e., attractive opportunities for collaboration and partnering with industry, and strong candidates for licensing and business development.
Establishing proof-of-concept is essential to attract investment and development partners from industry and the venture community. The Daedalus Fund provides support of $100,000 (or more, if warranted) for key critical path experiments aimed at generating the kind of proof-of-concept and validation data necessary to build value around embryonic technologies and early stage research projects, which will help us grow the number and quality of alliances and collaborations with industry.
Recipients of Daedalus Fund awards are selected once per year through an internal RFP process. In order to be eligible for funding, one must have a faculty appointment at WCM and be a full-time WCM employee with a wet lab.
Pre-proposals are now under review. Award recipients will be announced on June 30. A schedule of the annual process can be found here.
In order to help us select the most promising projects for funding in the most unbiased manner possible, proposals are reviewed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) comprising recognized scientific and thought leaders drawn from the biopharma industry and the venture community. The SAC utilizes well-established, stringent criteria to help select the most competitive and impactful proposals for funding, and its members also help to oversee and assess progress of the funded projects, which must be milestone-driven and designed to reach specified value-inflection points which can be leveraged to drive high quality alliances with industry going forward.
Information on the projects selected for funding in 2014 and 2015 can be found here.
The Daedalus Fund is managed by Larry Schlossman, Managing Director of WCM’s office of BioPharma Alliances and Research Collaborations. If you have any questions about the Daedalus Fund or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org.