2024-04-11: Call for Applications: Climate Innovation Proof of Concept Grants (On Behalf of California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI))


April 11, 2024


TO:  Campus Community

FR:  California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

RE: Call for Applications: Climate Innovation Proof of Concept Grants 

Call for Applications:


Applications Due: May 20, 2024


CNSI is now accepting applications for the 2024 Climate Innovation Proof of Concept (POC) Grants to support the development and deployment of innovations and technology that promote climate resilience by reducing vulnerability and/or supporting climate adaptation at the local, state, and national levels. These programs are designed to support both the development and uptake of innovations through traditional commercialization mechanisms such as startup companies, industry partnerships, or intellectual property out-licenses, as well as innovation deployment under an “open access” model.

Applications are due by Monday, May 20, for a project start date of July 1, 2024. All projects and activities under a successful grant must be fully completed by February 28, 2025.


Eligibility: Climate Innovation Proof of Concept Grants are open to: (a) UCSB-affiliated, California-based startup companies; and, (b) UCSB faculty and researchers who are eligible to serve as Principal Investigators.

The program offers two types of grants to support the development of innovations that foster climate resilience:

  • User Discovery Grants. These grants support up to $10,000 of customer/user discovery and market validation activities to help gain a deeper understanding of issues such as (a) the critical features/interfaces the innovation needs to incorporate to assure maximum uptake, efficacy, and accessibility; (b) potential resource limitations that may affect adoption; and, (c) how key stakeholders may that influence the decision to adopt or purchase the innovation. Funding can be used to attend trade shows or specialized workshops (note: funds cannot be used to support travel to academic conferences) or to support meetings (including travel) with representatives of potential customers/uses of the innovation, consulting experts in the relevant market(s), or state, regional or governmental agencies to understand the policy, regulatory or rebate/incentive landscape.

  • Proof of Concept Grants. These grants provide up to $50,000 for targeted, translational, or applied research projects designed to obtain key metrics or data or to develop working prototypes, that demonstrate the potential value, feasibility, efficacy, and impact of the target innovation. The funding is flexible and can be used to cover salaries, materials, supplies, field testing, prototyping, test-bedding, or third-party CRO or foundry work.

Please direct any questions to Sherylle Mills Englander, Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives & Operations at CNSI (englander@ucsb.edu).

To learn more and apply, go to Climate Innovation Funds.