QED Program

Funding and business advice to help academic researchers commercialize promising technologies



QED stands for quod erat demonstrandum, or “proven as demonstrated.”


Sometimes an idea alone is not enough. The QED Proof-of-Concept Program provides business development support for academic researchers developing early-stage life science and healthcare IT technologies. The key goal is to retire the business risk in these early-stage projects, increasing their attractiveness to follow-on investment by established life science companies and private investors.


Since its launch in 2009 as the nation’s first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program for the life sciences, QED has screened 475+ submissions from researchers at 21 partner institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and helped researchers develop 80+ proof-of-concept plans. The outcome to date? Eight licensed technologies that have the potential to positively disrupt the healthcare landscape.  

"The QED Program has allowed me to meet experienced business advisors who have helped me understand what investors and industry partners care about. The program has given my technology a great deal of exposure to the broader community."

- Sunday Shoyele, researcher at Thomas Jefferson University and QED Awardee

Elements of the Program


Business Advice:

The QED Program helps to design projects that are milestone-driven and focused on answering key questions that will help move technologies from the lab into the marketplace.


Business Advisors with appropriate domain expertise mentor Principal Investigators throughout the project development and implementation process.


Investigator-Advisor teams work closely with the Technology Transfer Office of the participating research organization in planning and execution.


Bridge Funding:

Project support in the form of up to $200,000 grants is awarded to researchers at eligible research organizations for early-stage R&D projects completed over a 12-month period.


Funding for each project is contributed equally by the Science Center and by the research organization executing the project. Ownership of all intellectual property is retained by the research institution and transitioned into licensing opportunities or new ventures according to institutional policies and commercial interest.


Each research institution has agreed to revenue-sharing conditions in the event that a funded project is licensed. Applicants should consult their Technology Transfer Office to discuss details.


Market Exposure:
The Science Center selects projects for strategic-plan development and funding via a market-driven process that incorporates assessment and feedback by industry and investors, supported by evaluations from scientific experts.


Members of the Science Center management team and additional industry and investment representatives conduct periodic review of projects during implementation, and work with Technology Transfer Offices to facilitate the successful exit of technologies into the private sector. 


The QED Program has received support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, William Penn Foundation, and Wexford Science and Technology, A BioMed Realty Company.

How to Apply


The QED Program provides key resources – including business guidance, bridge funding, and access to industry and investor representatives – to competitively selected projects. We’re seeking technologies that have clear product potential in life science and healthcare markets. The ideal project can undergo technical proof-of-concept validation within 12 months and with support of up to $200,000.


The QED Program is administered through the Technology Transfer Office of each participating research organization. Interested participants should contact their appropriate representative to discuss their interest in the QED program.


Submission Process:


  • In each annual cycle, proposals are solicited via an RFP mechanism calling for submission of brief White Paper applications.

  • White Papers are evaluated by the QED Program’s team of industry experts and investors. Approximately 10-12 applications are selected as finalists.

  • Each finalist is invited to prepare a comprehensive Proof-of-Concept Plan in collaboration with an assigned QED Program Business Advisor, and to make a formal presentation of his/her detailed proposal.

  • Up to four projects are selected for funding in each QED cycle.


Important Dates:


Opening date for White Papers                                             May 16, 2016

Early submission of White Papers for feedback               June 30, 2016

Final submission of White Papers to QED                          August 3, 2016

Selection Team Screening                                                       August 17-18, 2016

Finalist Invitation for Proof-of-Concept Plans                  August 19, 2016

Business Advisory Roundtable Strategy Sessions          August 25-26, 2016

Business Advisory Matching                                                 August 29, 2016

Project Team Orientation                                                       September 1-2, 2016

Specialist Clinics                                                                       October 13-14, 2016

Finalist Proof-of-Concept Plans due                                  October 28, 2016

Finalize Proof-of-Concept Reports due                             December 2, 2016

Practice Presentation                                                             December 8-9, 2016

Presentation to QED Selection Team                                 December 15-16, 2016




2016 Awardees

Mohammad Abedin-Nasab, Ph.D. of Rowan University is improving patient outcomes with Robossis™, a robotic surgery device designed to assist surgeons with pre-operative planning and alignment of long bone fractures, leading to faster surgeries.  


David Cormode, D.Phil., M.Chem. of the University of Pennsylvania is revolutionizing cancer treatment options with a biodegradable gold nanoparticle-based technology that increases radiation absorption in tumors, creating improved therapeutic efficacy in cancer.


Charles Palmer, MB, ChB, FCP, FAAP of Penn State College of Medicine is transforming neonatal care though a noninvasive assisted breathing device for pre-term infants with respiratory distress that uses negative pressure to prevent chest wall collapse. 


2015 Awardees


Amy Cowperthwait, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, and Amy Bucha, MS (University of Delaware)

A team of nurses and engineers at the University of Delaware is revolutionizing training of healthcare workers, starting with techniques for emergency airway management, by developing new mannequin simulation tools. 


Judith Deutsch, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

A team of physical therapists and engineers at Rutgers University is creating a rehabilitation technology that will aid in mobility, coordination and fitness training for older adults as well as persons with neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions. 


Melik Demirel, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

A team at Pennsylvania State University is using proteins to coat the surfaces of biomedical swabs, allowing them to capture DNA for analysis from even tiny amounts of blood or other biological samples. 


KiBum Lee, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

A team at Rutgers University is developing a technology for programming stem cells for use in therapies in people with incurable and debilitating diseases and disorders.


2014 Awardees


Steven Levison, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

A new product for culturing nervous system stem cells that simplifies and improves the ability of researchers to grow these cells for experimental and therapeutic use.


Sunday Shoyele, Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University) 

A product for delivering a highly-degradable gene that prevents the expression of cancer and other cells using antibody-based nanoparticles.


William Wuest, Ph.D. (Temple University)

The next generation of disinfectants for a variety of commercial industries including healthcare, transportation, water and energy.


Chao Zhou, Ph.D. (Lehigh University)

A diagnostic instrument that will allow faster, more sensitive eye exams for macular degeneration and glaucoma, improving an approach known as optical coherence tomography (OCT).


2013 Awardees 


Benjamin Blass, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A potential drug therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease as it’s popularly known.


Samuel Gunderson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A new therapeutic compound for pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult to treat.


Joseph Picone, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A software tool that automatically analyzes electrical activity in the brain for epilepsy and brain injury patients.


Christof Daetwyler, M.D. (Drexel University)
An online system to improve the communication skills of healthcare professionals using practice, assessment, and feedback.


2012 Awardees


Robert Sikes, Ph.D. (University of Delaware)
A potential drug therapy for prostate cancer, developed from a novel class of compounds.


Joyce Tombran-Tink, Ph.D. (Penn State University College of Medicine)
An eye drop therapy for diabetic retinopathy based on novel peptides. 


William Craelius, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A smartphone app to support physical therapy for stroke patients.


Anant Madabhushi,  Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A technology that enhances the identification of prostate cancer through computer-based image analysis of MRI scans.


2011 Awardees


Hwyda A. Arafat, M.D./Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University)
A candidate for the first clinically reliable test for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the primary form of pancreatic cancer which currently has no reliable system for early detection.


Mayuresh V. Kothare, Ph.D. (Lehigh University)
A portable medical oxygen concentrator for ambulatory breathing support of critical patients or patients with lung disease.    


Alexander A. Messinger, R.A. (Philadelphia University)
Textiles activated chemically to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.   


2010 Awardees


Marija Drndic, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
A lab-on-a-chip tool for measuring microRNA molecules in a biological sample by detecting individual molecules passing through nanopores in an ultrathin silicon film (a “molecular toll booth”).


George Tuszynski, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A protein-based therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The protein shows promise in reverting cultured leukemic cells to normal cells. 


Linda Couto, Ph.D. (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
A novel treatment for people infected with hepatitis C virus, using a microRNA technology that interferes with the ability of the virus to express its own genes.



Fall 2009 Awardees


Joseph Gorman, M.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
A minimally-invasive heart valve replacement technology. 


Robert Levy, Ph.D. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
A magnetic drug delivery system for targeting therapies to stents implanted in patients with peripheral vascular disease. 


Samuel Gunderson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A new technology, U1-Adaptors, that silences gene expression via a completely different mechanism to current techniques. 


Spring 2009 Awardees


Paul Ducheyne, Ph.D., (University of Pennsylvania)
Film-coated orthopedic pins for reducing bacterial infection during the stabilization of bone injuries. 


Elisabeth Papazoglou, Ph.D., (Drexel University)
A handheld monitor to assess healing of complex wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, helping to reduce costs and avoid dire sequels such as amputation. 


Wan Shih, Ph.D. (Drexel University)
A portable, radiation-free breast cancer screening device targeting  women with dense breasts or in countries where mammography is not readily available. 




Selection Team Members


An integral component of the QED Program is the involvement of industry licensing and investment professionals in the selection of projects for funding, and in providing guidance to investigators during the implementation of funded projects. 


Aceti Management Consulting

Adarza BioSystems, Inc.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals



Ben Franklin Technology Partners


BiologicsMD, Inc.

Biomedical Institute of the Americas

Bracco Group

Canadian Consulate

DDR Partners

Domain Associates



FemmePharma, Advisory Team

Foundation Venture Capital Group (a New Jersey Health Foundation Affiliate)


George Washington University


HealthyCheats LLC

i4 Business Development, LLC



Integra Life Sciences

Ip Group plc


Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Johnson & Johnson

Lodestar Advisory Partners

MAG; Delaware Crossing

Medical Measurement Systems

MedTech Playbook



NewSpring Capital

OKM Capital

OraSure Technologies, Inc.

Osage University Partners

R&D Worldwide Business Development

Reha Technology

Robin Hood Ventures

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

SG3 Ventures

Shire Pharmceuticals

St. Luke's University Health Network


Tarnhelm Therapeutics

Teva Pharmaceuticals

The Biomedical Institute of the Americas

Trade Commissioner at Consulate of Canada

URL Pharma, Inc.

Vascular Medicine Center

Windtree Therapeutics

Zack Consulting Services

Business Advisors


The Science Center’s community of 150+ industry professionals and serial entrepreneurs participate in the QED Program as Business Advisors to scientific investigators invited to prepare Full Applications and to those who are implementing projects supported by QED funding. Business Advisors work with investigators and Technology Transfer Offices to evaluate and prepare the commercial development strategy for each technology, as well as a go-to-market plan. Below is a sampling of our network of Business Advisors. 

Sini Adibi

Practical CTO


Mitch Collins
MSC Interim Executive and Consulting Services


Dyke Davies
D2 Insights LLC


Elizabeth DeSouza
University of Pennsylvania UPstart program


Dawn Eringis 


Dmitry Goldenberg
Decision Resources Group


Simon Golec


Gregory Haas
Precision Medical Products, Haas MDC


Maurice Hampton
R3 Enterprises, LLC


Dave Hesson
DP Hesson Consulting


Les Hirsch


Ted Kirsch



Geert Kolvenbag
Kolvenbag Enterprises LLC


Bozena Korczak
Drug Development Expert


Ken Kovan
Intersect Advisers LLC


Matt Kremer
Pall Life Sciences


Jim Lewis
Esperance Pharmaceuticals

Jay MacDonald
Ballard Spahr


Lorraine Marchand
Cognizant Technology Solutions


Joseph Messina
Independent Consultant


Robert Michel
Partners in BioPharma Consulting


Michael Mittelman
PHmHealth, LLC


Kevin O’Neill
Life Science Business Strategies, LLC


Donna Piper
Devon Pharma Solutions, Inc.


Kirk Reinbold


Ron Rothman
Strategic Bio Insights, SZF Associates


Allan Shatzman
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SE PA


Russ Secter
PDx BioTech


Michael Shine
NovaPharm Therapeutics


Nick Spring
ReliefBand Medical Technologies, LLC


Gaspar Taroncher-Oldenburg 
Trifermed USA


Debra Travers
Shipley Travers Consulting, IMS Health


John Weber
JCW Pharma Group, LLC


Prepared by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, this 2016 report quantifies the performance and impact of the QED program on the region's innovation ecosystem.   

Questions about the QED program?  

The Science Center relies on the generous support of its donors to deliver innovative programs like the QED. Your tax-deductible gift helps us move ideas forward.