Venture Catalyst

STAIR Grant Program

The UC Davis Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR) Grant is one of the technology proof-of-concept programs managed by Venture Catalyst in collaboration with InnovationAccess. Core funding for the STAIR Grant is provided by the Vice Chancellor for Research with supplemental funding provided by Innovation & Technology Commercialization (InnovationAccess and Venture Catalyst) as well as campus and industry partners.

Early-stage technologies from university research are often perceived as too uncertain or too risky to attract funding to translate into commercial products or services.  The lack of accessible funding creates a gap between basic research and early-stage commercialization efforts.  The STAIR Grant helps bridge this gap by providing funding and resources to translate basic UC Davis research with commercial potential by demonstrating proof-of-concept and establishing market viability, thus de-risking the innovation.  The ultimate objective of the program is to develop technologies that attract entrepreneurs, industry, and investors willing to commercialize UC Davis technologies, resulting in societal and economic impacts.

Key features of the STAIR Grant program include:  1) targeted funding to bridge the gap between basic research and early-stage commercialization efforts, 2) project work conducted over a 12-month period, 3) Review Committee consisting of industry representatives with corporate, investor, and entrepreneurial expertise, 4) feedback and guidance on commercialization from members of the Review Committee and the Venture Catalyst team, and 5) structured entrepreneurial training.

Over the past eight cycles, the proof-of-concept programs (STAIR and DIAL) have awarded over $2.2 million of funding to 56 projects. These projects have resulted in 25 intellectual property agreements, including 19 startups launched around foundational technologies, and have been able to attract roughly $147 million of follow-on funding. View the executive summary for the 2020-21 cycle here.

Venture Catalyst will begin accepting applications for the ninth cycle of the STAIR Grant program on January 27, 2022 with an application deadline of March 17, 2022 at 11:59 pm PDT. Applications can be submitted through Office of Research’s InfoReady grant application platform (Kerberos login required).

If you would like to request an overview presentation and/or a Q&A session for your department or unit, please email

For the STAIR Grant program, Venture Catalyst has engaged campus and industry partners to expand potential funding available to particular technologies and projects through the program. Partners include Triple Ring Technologies, TurtleTree, the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences, the UC Davis College of Letters & Science, the UC Davis School of Medicine, and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a side-car award, Triple Ring Technologies Consulting will provide 60 person‐hours of consulting services in the aggregate over a 2‐3 month period to 2-3 recipients jointly chosen by Triple Ring and UC Davis Innovation and Technology Commercialization (ITC).


Technology Focus Broad
IP Consideration Patent Potential
Project Budget Up to $50,000
Funding Available for Cycle 2021-22 $250,000*
Download Program Materials for 2021-22 Cycle STAIR Grant Program Announcement
STAIR-Grant-2021-22 Instructions
STAIR-2021-22-Funding Partners
STAIR Grant Invitation to Self-Identify Form

*Supplemental funding available from campus and industry partners

Email questions about any of the proof-of-concept grant programs to