ACME Solicitation 2024 - POCTRN

ACME POCT Call for Proposals: Microsystems-based Point-of-Care Technologies

Do you have a promising point-of-care medical technology in need of further development?



The Atlanta Center for Microsystems-Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME POCT) seeks to support the development, adaptation, or validation of microsystems-based point-of-care (POC) medical technologies. These technologies may be comprised of optical, electronic, microelectromechanical (MEMS) or other types of sensors, biosensors, microfluidic components, or even smartphone-based systems. While these are not cash awards, meritorious projects selected will receive 12 months of in-kind support and expertise from ACME POCT, valued at between $50,000 and $250,000. This support will be project dependent, and could include a wide variety of engineering, regulatory, clinical, analytical, human factors/usability or other specific expertise provided through partnership and consultation with the ACME POCT. In rare exceptions, small direct monetary awards could be considered based on the justification of a specific project need.

Learn more about the services offered.


ACME POCT is a nationally renowned academic partnership between Emory University, Georgia Tech, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as part of the National Institutes of Health Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN). The Center’s mission is to revolutionize the landscape of cutting-edge microsystems-based POC diagnostic technologies. Over the past 5 years, ACME POCT has successfully supported numerous emerging technology ventures in navigating the journey from technology development through clinical validation to FDA clearance and successful commercialization and clinical adoption. As the Test Validation Center of the NIH’s RADx initiative as well as with multiple investigator-led projects, the ACME POCT has developed specific services and capabilities to assist POC diagnostic projects in their translation to clinical impact. Our annual needs assessment demonstrated that at home diagnostics and monitoring across a wide range of health conditions continue to be major opportunities for novel diagnostics and application.

The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide expertise and support to project teams currently developing microsystems-based POC technologies with one or more of ACME POCT’s services offered. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the translation of POC diagnostic projects to the highest clinical impact. The priority for the 2024 call for applications is to support clinically relevant proposals for technologies that have already been through some level of investment in research, development, evaluation, or clinical validation but have been unable to progress due to a significant and definable barrier that can be resolved through additional engineering, regulatory, clinical, human factors/usability or other type of specific expertise the project team lacks. As such, applicants should be able to define the technology’s current technology readiness level (TRL), describe the situation and barrier encountered that impeded progress, and explain how additional targeted expertise from the ACME POCT or other consultants will enable the technology to move forward in the development pathway.

Who Should Apply 

Microsystems-based projects from any and all disease or condition focus areas are invited to apply. Proposed projects that meet these criteria will be prioritized for selection.

  1. Involve microsensors, microfluidics, or lab-on-a-chip technology for point-of-care use.
  2. Has achieved a minimum maturity level of “proof of concept” or ideally above, based upon the Healthtech Innovation Cycle.
  3. Have already received some prior funding or investment of any amount and from any source in the past 5 years.
  4. Are currently at a point in which progress is paused due to a definable issue and require additional expertise in engineering, regulatory, human factors/usability, clinical or analytical validation support.
  5. Have at minimum a lab-scale prototype for testing/evaluation within the next 12 months.
  6. Are highly innovative, defined as involving novel technology or novel application of existing technology to solve for a currently unaddressed or under-addressed clinical problem.
  7. Are technologies designed to address health equity issues such as access to care or low resource settings.

ACME POCT will support the advancement of technologies through consulting and services provided by expert resources within our center. The general categories of services and expertise offered are 1) Technology; 2) Regulatory; 3) Clinical; 4) Market/business A full list of services can be found on our website.

Support Term

  • 12 months


  • Commit to actively partner with ACME POCT experts in using their development framework with targeted technology, clinical, regulatory, and market/business services.
  • Submit a monthly progress report to ACME POCT
  • Submit quarterly progress report data to CIMIT's Guidance and Impact Tracking System (GAITS)


The application form can be accessed here.

Expression of Interest (EoIs) applications are required and open to all applicants. EoIs will be evaluated to determine from which applicants full proposals will be invited. Only invited full proposals will be accepted and reviewed.

Expression of Interest forms, invited full proposal forms, and associated PDF files may be accessed at the link noted above. Only electronic submissions through the Colab system will be accepted. Submissions must be time-stamped by the submission system prior to or at the cut-off date and time listed in timeline. Please note that all deadlines are in Eastern Time. The Center will not consider proposals which are in the process of submission but not yet submitted prior to the cut-off and not stamped as received in time. Information that is relevant to your organization’s intellectual property should be marked “Business Sensitive” or “Proprietary.” Classified information or markings such as the word “Sensitive” alone must not be used in any part of the submission.

Review Criteria

Expressions of Interest and subsequent invited full proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Significance: Does the project address an important clinical need and does it have the potential for a large clinical impact?
  2. Scientific Basis: Is there a sound scientific basis (including preliminary data) that supports the technology and the proposed research?
  3. Responsiveness to ACME POCT priorities: Is the project designed to accelerate the refinement and clinical testing of point-of-care technologies? Importantly, does the project team require ACME POCT’S services and expertise, Special consideration will be given for ventures that prioritize health equity.
  4. Maturity Level: Has achieved a minimum maturity level of “proof of concept” or ideally above, based upon the Healthtech Innovation Cycle.
  5. Feasibility and Environment: The study team and/or company has the necessary personal, environment, and facilities that is conducive to success.
  6. Innovation: Does the proposed technology have the potential to transform patient outcomes or how patient care is delivered? (i.e., a new POC that enables diagnosis/treatment in the home of a patient who would otherwise have had to go to the clinic or hospital for the diagnosis/treatment?)
  7. Consumer Costs and Commercialization Strategy: What is the commercialization strategy? Does the strategy have the potential to reduce healthcare costs for patients and/or payors?

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.


Solicitation Release: February 20, 2024 
Expression of Interest Due: March 31, 2024 11:59PM ET 
Invitations for Full Proposals: April 29, 2024
Full Proposals Due: June 2, 2024, 11:59PM ET 
Notification of Successful Applicants: August 5, 2024


Questions regarding this solicitation may be sent up to 48 hours before the submission date and time. Please include the words “ACME POCT solicitation” in the subject line.

ACME POCT Contact: Julie Sullivan

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.