Imlay Innovation Fund

Program Purpose

The Imlay Innovation Fund is intended solely to support collaborative activities and pediatric innovation and discovery efforts between Georgia Tech and Children’s, focusing on practical steps that will lead to clinical impact as well as potential commercial opportunities.

Proposals should focus on solving a problem that will impact care delivery and/or has the potential to positively impact child health. Approaches may include human factors engineering, predictive modeling, development of devices and technologies, and other novel approaches to address healthcare problems.

Two types of projects are eligible for funding:

  1. Quick Wins: Quick Wins (QW) allows Children’s clinicians and clinical administrative leaders to bring problems that impact care delivery to the attention of scientists and engineers at Georgia Tech to help develop innovative solutions. Successful projects have ranged from pediatric specific surgical device development in partnership with a surgeon and biomedical engineer to improvement of workflow in a busy outpatient clinic in partnership with physicians, clinical administrative leadership, architectural researchers, and industrial engineer.

    Quick Wins supports projects that can be accomplished in 12-18 months and can be quickly translated into practice. It is possible, but not guaranteed, that a Quick Wins award could help to position an investigator for a successful Innovation Investment application (described below) within the 2 years following the QW award. Quick Wins awards will be funded up to $125K.

  2. Innovation Investment: Innovation Investment is intended to help bridge the funding gap that often blocks the next phase of implementation or commercialization after initial proof of concept. Innovation Investment awards should allow investigators to collect much-needed data, complete further proof-of-concept studies, or to produce prototypes for testing in order to effectively compete for extramural or investment funding. Previous Imlay awardees may apply for funding towards commercialization in this category.

    Innovation Investment projects will typically be funded for a one-year period. Applications for multi-year awards will be accepted only with prior approval, and can receive a total of no more than $250K. An important part of the proposal is a potential for commercialization and/or implementation, as well as potential to positively impact child health.
To apply
  1. All applicants should submit a pre-proposal no later than 5pm on Friday, February 19, 2021.
  2. The pre-proposal is limited to 2 pages and must follow the format of Exhibit 2. The pre-proposal should be emailed to    
  3. As mentioned in the purpose statement, each project must be a collaborative effort involving both Children’s clinicians and Georgia Tech faculty. For assistance in identifying suitable collaborators for your project, contact one of the following advisors:
    1. Stacy Heilman, Director for Pediatric Research Operations, Grants Education & Cores
      Emory University Dept. of Pediatrics and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: or 404-727-4819
    2. Leanne West, Chief Engineer, Pediatric Technologies: or 404-431-9894
    3. M.G. Finn, Chief Scientific Officer: or 404-385-0906
  4. Please note that even if a collaborative, cross-institutional team has already been formed, applicants are encouraged to contact one of the above advisors to discuss the project prior to submission.
Pre-proposal review

Pre-proposal review will be conducted by a team of subject matter experts to identify the proposals with the highest likelihood of being funded.  Selected will be invited to submit a full proposal by March 12, 2021. ALL proposals will receive feedback from the initial review.

Full proposal and oral pitch
  1. Full proposals will be due by 5pm on April 23, 2021.
  2. Specific quarterly milestones must be defined in the full (five-page) application.
  3. Selected applicants must give a brief oral presentation to the Leadership Team/SME Panel on May 20, 2021.
  4. Review panels will follow scoring guidelines based on those used by National Institutes of Health, modified for the more practical and focused nature of The Imlay Innovation Fund.
  5. The Leadership Team will make final funding decisions regarding each project.
Project selection

Applicants will be notified of the evaluation of their proposal status the week of June 14, 2021.

  • All applications must involve two or more investigators, at least one from Georgia Tech faculty and at least one of whom:
    • has a primary faculty appointment in the Emory Department of Pediatrics OR
    • is on the professional staff at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. This includes Emory faculty outside of the Department of Pediatrics who are on the Children’s medical staff and all non-faculty clinicians who are on the Children’s medical staff.
  • The principal investigator(s) must submit a mid-term progress report.
  • Proposal budgets must include administrative support and data support as needed. 
  • If PHI data support is needed please contact Richard Starr via email at

Erin Henderson, Grants Manager, Pediatric Technology Center  or 404-894-9785

Previously Funded Projects

2019 Awardees

Enhancing Rehabilitation in Children With Genu Recurvatum Walking Gait Using Robotic Exoskeletons
Georgia Tech: Aaron Young, PhD, Kinsey Herrin, CO, CP
Children’s:   Kelly Moore, DPT, Erin Eggebrecht, DPT
Award Amount: $125,000

Pediatric Airway Support With a 3D Printed Airway Support Device (ASD)
Georgia Tech: Scott Hollister, PhD
Children’s: Kevin Maher, MD & Steve Goudy, MD
Award Amount: $115,000

2018 Awardees

Design Development, and Evaluation of a Flexible and Steerable Robotic Monopolar Electrocautery Probe for Pediatric Neurosurgery
Georgia Tech: Jaydev Desai, PhD, Shreyes Melkote, PhD
Children’s:  Joshua Chern, MD, PhD
Award Amount: $124,983

Ultrathin, Comfortable, Mulitfunctional Biopatch for Safe and Effective Care of Neonatal and Infant Health Conditions
Georgia Tech: Woon-Hong Yeo, PhD
Children’s: Kevin Maher, MD
Award Amount: $125,000

2017 Awardees

Design and Development of Pressure Ulcer Prevention System (PUPS) for Infants
Georgia Tech: Sundaresan Jayaraman, PhD, Sungmee Park, MFA
Children’s:  Matt Paden, MD, Jana Stockwell, MD
Award Amount: $124,942

DESIGNING CANCER CARE FOR KIDS, BY KIDS: Engaging Patients and Their Families in Creating More Efficient Patient Centered Care
Georgia Tech: Megan Denham, Shane Owens
Children’s: Karen Wasilewski-Masker, MD, Jordan Marchak, PhD
Award Amount: $124,989

An innovative CVL cap sleeve to prevent CLABSI in pediatric oncology and BMT patients with central venous catheters
Georgia Tech: Scott Hollister, PhD, Sara Jo Crotts, MS
Children’s: Joanna Newton, MD
Award Amount: $75,000 (jointly funded by Imlay Innovation Fund and Friends Research Fund)