Skip to main content


You are here

Coronavirus Medical Device Challenge Program

Friday, April 24, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic. An effective response to this outbreak and other future pathogens requires accelerated development and commercialization of medical devices directed to better detection, prevention, and control of pathogens and to increase impact and response capacity across a wide range of domains.

The UM Ventures Coronavirus Medical Device Challenge Program supports research projects contributing to the commercialization of evidence-based medical devices related to the COVID-19 pandemic across a wide range of outcomes, including but not limited to testing, personal protection, treatment, and prevention.

Joint proposals between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) are highly encouraged. 


  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through May 2020 (or until funds are exhausted).
  • Funding decisions will be made bi-weekly.


Faculty and staff whose full-time, home position is at UMB or UMCP are eligible to apply.

  • Multi-disciplinary proposals/approaches are encouraged, especially across institutions
  • As a pre- or co-requisite, an invention disclosure for the subject technology must be filed with UM Ventures.


  • Up to $50,000 in total funding is available for each project from UM Ventures to support this program. 


UM Ventures is seeking proposals that utilize UMB and UMCP strengths in medical devices (e.g., Robert E. Fischell Institute) and related innovation (e.g., computer technology) to rapidly contribute to human health and related outcomes with respect to COVID-19 or the causal virus (SARS-CoV-2), including prevention, control, and response efforts.

Proposed research should contribute to the commercialization of evidence-based medical devices related to the COVID-19 pandemic across a wide range of outcomes, including but not limited to testing, personal protection, treatment and prevention.

Grant funds should be spent within six months of the award; any longer duration will need to be approved. 



  • Does the proposal have the potential for significant impact on human health and related outcomes?

  • Can the proposal speed up commercialization and bring the solutions to the market quickly?
  • Proposals that impact Maryland, specifically, are encouraged. 


  • Does the proposal harness UMB and UMCP's unique strengths to be competitive and successful? 


  • Is the project urgent and can it only be accomplished through this funding?


  • Does the proposal outline and include plans for mitigating any risks to the research team and/or participants? 


  • Does the proposal support the case to go to the market? 

Recommended TRL 3 to 5, i.e., proof of concept (TRL 3), initial laboratory testing (TRL 4), and simulated field testing (TRL 5). 


  • Is the technology regarded as a medical device by the FDA or does it have a strong relevance to medical devices?
  • Software and apps will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

The Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices can provide assistance in understanding FDA regulatory landscape. 


  • Can this proposal be leveraged to garner extramural support from specific funding agencies or industry partners?


Applications are reviewed on a bi-weekly basis. Please submit an electronic PDF copy with the lead inventor’s signature to:

A confirmation email will be sent to teams whose project is approved. The email will include terms which must be accepted before funds are transferred to the PI’s department budget.

The inventor(s) must include within 3 pages:

  • Inventor(s) name, school/department affiliation, and an email address for correspondence
  • Title and UM Ventures disclosure number for the technology
  • Abstract (summary and endpoints; 3 sentences maximum)
  • Technology Description (no more than 3 paragraphs) and Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
  • Market Need and Opportunity (no more than 2 paragraphs, must include time to complete project)
  • Budget and Justification
  • Milestones 

The Universities do not want any member of the faculty, staff, or student population to put themselves at any undue risk to perform this research. We always urge all members of the University community to practice prevention behaviors and hold each other accountable in following safe and healthy practices. Please review guidelines for research safety and ensure that your Responsible Conduct of Research training is up-to-date.

Suggested sites for training resources: 

 UMCP has compiled a list of other external funding opportunities related to COVID-19.