Peace and Prosperity Through Science Collaboration

2008 CRDF Partner Development Program

Program Announcement

 The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) is pleased to announce the launch of its 2008 Partner Development Program (PDP) in Russia. All eligible Russian Science and Technology (S&T) entrepreneurs are invited to apply to the PDP to accelerate their readiness to enter the U.S. marketplace. Funding for this program is provided by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Russia Center for Entrepreneurship.


The CRDF PDP provides ongoing business linkages to competitively selected Russian science and technology (S&T) entrepreneurs interested in improving their readiness to access the U.S. marketplace.

The 2008 CRDF Partner Development Program includes the following components:

  • CRDF screening and feedback on Russian S&T business plans for U.S. market entry;
  • Regional Business Training Workshops in Russia;
  • Planning assistance for Russian S&T Entrepreneur-funded short-term U.S. travel visits.

 A key aspect of the 2008 PDP program is the CRDF-CFE Regional Business Training Workshop in the Volga Region. The four-day workshop will include group and individual English-language business training sessions with seasoned U.S. and Russian entrepreneurs. The workshop will be tailored to the specific business objectives of its selected Russian entrepreneurs. The workshop will also focus on preparing each entrepreneur for future CRDF-organized U.S. travel visits for business introductions.

The CRDF-CFE Regional Business Training Workshop in the Volga Region will convene on March 31-April 3, 2008, in cooperation with CRDF’s local co-organizer, the U.S. Russia Center for Entrepreneurship. Additional regional workshops to convene in Fall 2008 may be announced in Spring 2008. Interested applicants from any part of Russia may apply for consideration to participate in any of the regional workshops; all applicants are required to pay their own travel expenses.

About CRDF

The U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) is a private, nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress and established in 1995 by the U.S. National Science Foundation. This unique public-private partnership promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, and training. CRDF is based in Arlington, Virginia with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, Kyiv, Ukraine, and Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Program Outline & Goals

The objective of PDP is to provide Russian S&T entrepreneurs with an opportunity to form business partnerships with U.S. companies, investors and government organizations that share their goal of developing collaborative projects and new business opportunities.

To accelerate access to Russian S&T innovations, CRDF engaged a Volga Region Business Consultant in Fall 2007. The CRDF consultant will be based in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and will work closely with CRDF Moscow staff to help interested Russian S&T entrepreneurs develop their U.S. oriented business plans. The Volga Region consultant will work with all interested S&T entrepreneurs in Russia who are based at universities, institutes, and private start-up companies and who are looking to expand their technology or service into the U.S. marketplace.


CRDF Expenses

CRDF will not provide direct grant funding to Russian applicants on this PDP program. All Russian S&T entrepreneurs selected for participation in the regional workshops are responsible for their own travel costs and any other relevant expenses associated with participation. Instead, CRDF funds will support workshop expenses, business review feedback and other CRDF costs associated with providing business meeting arrangements for Russian entrepreneur-funded short-term U.S. travel visits.

Russian Participant Expenses

All Russian applicants selected to participate in one of the regional workshops will be responsible for all travel expenses associated with participation in the four-day training session. Additionally, all Russian applicants making short-term U.S. travel visits are responsible for all travel expenses associated with their participation in CRDF-coordinated visits. For budgeting purposes, it is recommended that Russian entrepreneurs plan on approximately $5,000 for a seven-day U.S. business trip. CRDF will consult with each Russian entrepreneur in arranging meetings in various areas of the United States.

Application Submission Timeline and Requirements

By February 1, 2008, all applicants must submit the PDP Application Form, which comprises a standard business plan. There is no page limitation for business plan submissions.

Prior to the February 1 online submission deadline, all interested applicants are encouraged to work with CRDF Moscow and the CRDF Volga Region Consultant to develop their business plan in accordance with the guidelines found on the CRDF PDP Application Form.

Workshop Name

Workshop dates

Preliminary work with CRDF consultant

Proposal Submission Deadline

Applicant Notification

CRDF-CFE Regional Business Training Workshop in the Volga Region

March 31-April 3, 2008

December 2007-February 1, 2008

February 1, 2008

March 1-10, 2008

CRDF and its U.S. Business Advisory Board will review and select up to 25 applicants for participation in the CRDF-CFE Volga Region Business Training Workshop. Applications will be thoroughly reviewed for competitive selection by CRDF according to the Program Eligibility and Selection Criteria below.

Eligibility Criteria

Russian S&T entrepreneurs must meet each of the following criteria to be deemed eligible for consideration in this program.

   Employment at a university, institute, or private company that is registered in Russia.

   Citizenship and permanent residence in Russia.

   Working prototype or commercial activity in a field of science or technology that can be demonstrated in the U.S.

   Protected Intellectual Property (IP) for the prototype or commercial activity.

Demonstrated prior sales, investment or interest in the technology in local or foreign markets. This may include government research funding, letters of intent from end-users, et cetera.

   Intent to enter the U.S. marketplace with the prototype or commercial activity.

Additionally, CRDF strongly encourages the full-time inclusion of Russian scientists and engineers formerly engaged in weapons research, including work on weapons of mass destruction, in the civilian technology commercialization activities funded through this program. CRDF gives special consideration to proposals under this program that include full-time participation of Russian former weapons scientists or engineers in civilian research environments. Participants who were formerly engaged in weapons research are required to indicate such experience.

Proposal Review Process

The CRDF proposal review process is divided into three phases:

  1. Eligibility Screening and Administrative Review: CRDF and a Volga Region Consultant will screen all Russian proposals for eligibility and completeness based on the eligibility criteria detailed above.
  2. Business Review. CRDF and a U.S. Business Advisory Board will select the top 25 business plans from those proposals that pass administrative review. Selection of these 25 business plans will be based on the selection criteria detailed below.
  3. Regional Workshop Training for future U.S. short-term visits: The top 25 applicants in each review cycle will be required to attend a CRDF-led business training session in advance of its CRDF-facilitated U.S. short-term business trip. The goal of each 4-day workshop is to prepare selected applicants for future U.S. business trips.


During each phase, CRDF may contact applicants with questions or requests for additional information.

CRDF will notify all applicants of their business review results by early March 2008. This e-mail notification will include a copy of the CRDF anonymous reviewer feedback and applicant status for participation in the CRDF-CFE Volga Regional Business Training Workshop.

Selection Criteria

A CRDF-led U.S. Business Advisory Board will select the top 25 business plans based on their ability to meet the below selection criteria. Selected plans will be eligible to participate in the Spring 2008 CRDF Regional Business Training Workshop.

Reviewers will evaluate applicants based on their ability to adequately demonstrate that their technology or service has U.S. market viability. Evaluation of proposals will focus on the quality and feasibility of the management team, the team’s strategy and expectations for entering the U.S. market, the description of the technology’s previous success in Russia, the plan’s relevance to U.S. customers, the size and scope of the U.S. market, and the team’s financial projections. The following selection criteria will be used to evaluate each application.


  • Management Team: The strength of the management team is a critical element to most investors and strategic business partners. A clear and complete description of the management team must be provided.


  • Market Size or Share: Applicants should demonstrate a clear understanding of the global market and competition for their technology or product, and must be able to show how their product/technology will fit into the U.S. market. Applicants do not need to necessarily have prior sales in the local, Russian market to be selected (this is especially true in the telecom market, for example).
  • Distribution and Marketing: Applicants must demonstrate that they have a strong concept of how they will sell and market their products or services in the United States. Intimate knowledge of the U.S. market is not required; however, a strong understanding of the value provided by the product or service must be demonstrated.
  • Information on Technology (including commercially available prototypes): Applicants must demonstrate that their technology is commercially viable, technologically sound and protected. At a minimum, the team should have a working prototype at the beta testing stage that is scalable. Additionally, for basic U.S. market entry requirements, the team should have clearly defined and non-disputable intellectual property protection for that technology or service, the freedom to operate the technology or service, and intent to file a U.S. patent.
  • Financials: Each proposal must include a detailed cash flow showing that the candidate clearly understands the time and cash required to generate positive cash flow. Applicants should show two years of previous financials (if available), plus three years of future projections on the company or team, regardless of whether they have a positive cash flow. Financials should include previous equity investments, and also should demonstrate clearly how the scientific team or company determined that it will be profitable in future years. Additionally, applicants should demonstrate the level of capitalization they have for U.S. market entry.

Export Control

CRDF complies with all U.S. laws and regulations pertaining to export control and the participation of foreign nationals or institutions in its activities. It is CRDF policy not to conduct any transactions with U.S. restricted entities without appropriate authorization from the U.S. Government. CRDF reserves the right to restrict the participation of any individual or institution in its programs.

Protection of Confidential Information

Applicants are responsible for identifying any business confidential information contained in their proposals; such information will be available only to authorized staff of CRDF, its funding and oversight agencies, and external U.S. business reviewers retained by CRDF. External U.S. business reviewers retained by CRDF, as well as all personnel of CRDF and its partner organizations, are required to adhere to strict standards of confidentiality in the handling of all confidential information contained in the proposals.

All applications containing business confidential materials should be clearly labeled “Business Confidential.” Reviewers will be required to sign a standard and legally-binding non-disclosure agreement prior to receipt of any business confidential materials. A copy of the template for this agreement is available on request. Applicants may request that particular organizations or individuals, whose access to their proposals would compromise business confidential information, not be selected as reviewers.

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