New York State Biodefense Commercialization Fund

Applications for the most recent round of Biodefense Commercialization Fund Awards closed on October 6, 2022. Information about future application cycles will be posted here when available. 

Translate page

Next Section Continue


The $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund, which was included in the FY2022 budget, was created to encourage and accelerate the development and commercialization of solutions for serious infectious disease threats, including COVID-19 and its variants, while fostering the creation of new life science businesses and supporting industry growth. The Fund offers grants to startups and academic centers that are developing promising diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, and such other innovations as epidemiological surveillance tools, environmental controls, and clinical care advances that address or mitigate infectious disease threats.

The Biodefense Commercialization Fund is intended to provide financial resources that will:

  1. Expand the state’s life science ecosystem to enhance employment opportunities;
  2. Bolster the ecosystem by identifying, developing, and supporting commercial advancement of promising scientific innovations that generate solutions in the critical area of infectious disease and pandemic resilience;
  3. Fast track advanced intellectual property (IP) from New York’s research institutions, accelerate the growth of companies across the state, and encourage companies from outside of New York to relocate to expand the state’s commercial life science industry;    
  4. Increase the state’s resilience to broadscale infectious disease threats; 
  5. Help to further position New York State as a safe, healthy place for people to live, work, and recreate; and
  6. Expand opportunities available to a broad range of innovative companies. 

Startup and early stage companies based in New York that have raised or are in the process of raising Seed, Series A or Series B funding are eligible to apply for grants ranging from approximately $1 million to $4 million.

Companies from outside of the state that meet the above qualifications may apply for funding, if they are committed to relocate to New York state.

Academic institutions based in New York with translational innovations that are on the cusp of moving into a commercial development phase are eligible to apply for grants of $250,000 to $500,000.

Next Section Continue


For more information about the Fund, please view the program guidelines, and the Code of Conduct to be followed by all members of the Fund’s Executive Committee, Expert Review Panel, and Mentors.


Next Section Continue


New York State has launched a $40 million Biodefense Commercialization Fund to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovations targeting infectious disease threats while fostering new life science businesses and industry growth within New York State.  The Fund is being administered by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development (“ESD”), and is intended to be a working capital only fund.

Both incorporated startup companies developing promising solutions to mitigate infectious disease threats and academic institutions with translational innovations on the cusp of moving into a commercial development phase are eligible to participate. Of specific interest are solutions and approaches with high commercial potential. 

All grant awardees will be assigned an Industry Mentor to support advancement of their research programs and guide commercialization. Awardees will also have access to supplemental educational sessions offered by Columbia’s Lab to Market (L2M) Accelerator Network.


Please reference the ESD Biodefense Commercialization Fund Guidelines for additional detail.

Next Section Continue

Areas of Interest

Applications from therapeutic, diagnostic, digital epidemiology and pathogen surveillance related projects with a translational/commercialization trajectory are encouraged.  Special consideration may be given to small molecule therapeutics and novel platform diagnostics targeting COVID, its variants, or other infectious disease threats.

Next Section Continue


Startup Companies

All startup companies must meet the criteria below to be eligible for funding.

  • Incorporated company (LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, etc.)
  • Based in New York State or relocating to New York State
  • Recently raised or in the process of raising Seed, Series A or Series B funding
  • Expect to remain and continue conducting business in New York State for a minimum of 3 years after completion of grant period

Academic Institutions

To qualify for funding, academic institutions must be based in New York State and utilize this funding mechanism to advance translational innovations towards commercialization and a near-term University exit. 

More details about funding criteria can be found in the NYS Biodefense Commercialization Fund Guidelines.

Next Section Continue


Grants from the New York State Biodefense Commercialization Fund aim to advance commercial development of solutions for serious infectious disease threats. Applicants from incorporated Startup Companies are eligible to receive funding of $1 million to $4 million (to be used for Working Capital Direct Costs only). There will be a requirement for matching for funding of $2 million and above.

 Academic Institutions are eligible to receive grants of $250,000 to $500,000 (inclusive of a maximum 25% Indirect Cost rate). Final funding amounts will be determined by an Expert Review Panel and are expected to be applied to no more than three years of project expenses. 

Grant funding must be used for expenses directly related to the awarded project. The mechanism of funding and allowable use of funds are outlined in the Fund Guidelines.

Next Section Continue

Application Instructions

Applications for the most recent round of Biodefense Commercialization Fund Awards closed on October 6, 2022.

  • Information about the next application period will be posted here.


Next Section Continue

Previous Awardees

View press releases announcing the awardees from recent rounds of applications:

Next Section Continue


If you would like to stay updated on future ​news about the Biodefense Commercialization Fund, please complete the form here.

For any other questions, email [email protected].

Please note: Columbia Technology Ventures’ Lab-to-Market (L2M) Accelerator Network is collaborating with Empire State Development (ESD) on the administration of the New York State Biodefense Commercialization Fund. Applicants may receive email communication from L2M on behalf of ESD.