The Oklahoma Applied Research Support program helps universities, private research institutions and businesses fund cutting-edge research with the goal of growing Oklahoma’s economy by creating more higher-wage jobs, starting new businesses and developing innovation to help advance existing industry.
Also known as OARS, the program accelerates the development of technology with a potential for producing a commercially successful product, process or service. Through OARS, OCAST provides funding for applied research and development projects. The funding is structured to increase industrial R&D investment and reward collaborative efforts between research institutions and private industry to strengthen a project’s commercial viability. OCAST’s OARS funding also helps recipients leverage the additional capital required to develop and market their technology.
The OARS program is highly competitive and only projects proposing the best science and potential for commercial success are considered for funding. Eligible applicants include Oklahoma businesses, universities and non-profit research organizations and funding is provided for one- to three-year projects. A minimum of one-dollar matching support is required for each state dollar awarded; no indirect costs are funded through this program. . Successful OARS applications are funded through reimbursement contracts and continued funding through project completion is contingent on satisfactory annual performance evaluations and the availability of funds.
External reviewers with technical and market expertise, a majority of whom reside outside the state of Oklahoma, evaluate the proposals for technical merit, potential economic impact and commitment of the participating organization(s). Written reviewer comments are provided to all applicants for use in revision of proposals for resubmission to OCAST and are othen helpful in developing applications for other funding organizations. Reviewers also provide the evaluations of annual performance reports of funded projects.
As with all OCAST funding programs the OARS program is supported by an advisory committee comprised of representatives from academia, private industry and the public sector. The OARS advisory committee selects all reviewers and assigns applications to those reviewers. The advisory committee also supports OCAST with oversight of each review process.
The current OARS solicitation may be found on the Solicitations page.