BME Coulter FAQs

If your question is not answered in this website, please contact Lee W. Tien (Coulter Program Director) at

Q: What is the Boston University Coulter Translational “Partnership”?

A: The Boston University Coulter Translational Partnership (BUCTP) is one of ten university partnerships established by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation in 2005 to catalyze the commercialization of promising biomedical innovations. BUCTP is a mutually beneficial program for Wallace H. Coulter Foundation (WHCF), Biomedical Engineering Department (BME), and industry to improve patient care and accelerate the delivery of healthcare technology from academia to the marketplace.

Q: Have these Translational Partnerships with universities been successful?

A: Since 2005, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation has funded more than 200 translational projects based on engineering-clinical collaborations at 16 universities across the country. As of early 2011, 24 of these projects have resulted in licenses to established industrial partners, and 28 projects have served as the basis for start-ups, which, altogether, have raised more than $100M in professional investment and several hundred million dollars in SBIR/STTR and other governmental funding. This success rate exceeds that of many professional firms investing in early stage technologies.

Q: What does the Foundation expect in return for its funding?

A: Funding provided by the BUCTP is not a loan or an equity investment, and the Foundation expects no participation in the economic success of funded projects. The 3-5 year ROI is measured against two criteria: 1) the number of projects which result in a license to an established company with sufficient resources for effective commercialization, and 2) the number of projects which result in a license to a venture capital or private equity-backed start-up company. Ultimately, the BUCTP seeks to accelerate the commercialization of products that will improve healthcare for all.

    Q: How much funding is available?

    A: Proposals should not exceed $100K and should not exceed 12 months in duration. The Oversight Committee may decrease or increase the requested investment, and may also recommend a modular project plan. Teams which successfully meet initial milestones may submit applications for additional funding.

      Q: For what can funding be used?

      A: Funding can be used for supplies, materials, components, and subcontracted services (e.g. imaging, histopathology, animal studies, prototyping, etc.), for personnel directly engaged in performing the project tasks, and for travel directly associated with the project implementation. Funds may not be used for indirect costs, tuition, construction or renovation, furniture, or legal expenses.

      Q: What kinds of projects are funded?

      A: Attractive projects include those that have the greatest potential to significantly improve the current standard of clinical care. Typical areas of investment include diagnostics, medical devices, mobile health/healthcare IT, imaging platforms, etc.

      Q: What kind of support can our team expect from the BUCTP?

      A: The BU “Team Coulter” provides to the funded teams guidance in intellectual property, business development, and administrative support. “Team Coulter” also offers process oversight, mentorship, and ongoing monitoring of project plan/funding.

      Q: What are our team’s responsibilities if we get funded?

      A: Responsibilities of the funded team comprise:

      • Meet objectives (including budgeted expenses) and deliverables outlined in your application.
      • Project Tracking
        • Monthly progress reviews (may be written or communicated in meetings)
        • Quarterly written project update
      • Participate in Mentorship and Best Practices Meetings in collaboration with BU OTD
        • Project Presentation and Experience Sharing Forum
      • Identify Problems and Issues Early

      Q: What are the measures of success?

      A: Success is measured based on the following:

      • Continuous progress following project objectives
      • Achievement of deliverables
      • IP filed
      • Market planning cleared
      • Commercial partners identified
      • Follow on funding identified/obtained
      • Repeat Coulter funding