Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)

Application Process and Next Steps

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is open to California State entities who are looking to solve important business problems, identifying the benefits to California residents and state employees, and the highlighting the commitment of the executive business stakeholders to fully support and invest in the effort.

Background and Requirements

State entities will submit proposals to solve important business problems, identifying the benefits to California residents or state employees, and the highlighting the commitment of the executive business stakeholders to fully support and invest in the effort. 

The Initial Project Proposal includes:

      • A statement of executive support for the proposal
      • A brief summary of the business problem to solve
      • A justification of why the problem is impactful and should be prioritized for investment
      • A description of the resources that will be dedicated to the effort
      • A summary of any technical approach that has been identified or market research conducted
      • How the proposal aligns with TMF goals

Evaluation of Proposals

CDT will review the completeness and the quality of each submission. Those that are complete and aligned with the TMF goals, will advance to readiness assessment:

      • CDT and a civic tech vendor partner will help the department to fine-tune the proposal and business objectives, and assess the organization’s readiness and commitment to execute if awarded a TMF grant.
      • Departments that pass the readiness assessment will be invited to pitch their ideas to a committee comprised of Undersecretaries and Chief Deputy Directors.
      • Evaluating factors such as executive business commitment, agency mission impact, feasibility, opportunity enablement, and transferrable solutions, the selection committee will identify proposals to receive TMF grant to enter the discovery and design phase. 

Proposals selected will begin a two to four week Discovery/Design Sprint with a civic tech firm.  The outcome will be a project proposal that identifies the solution path, market viability, resources, schedule, and cost.  If the project proposal continues to align with the TMF goals (scope, schedule and cost) a TMF Implementation grant will be made.

If the initial work reveals that the required project does not align with the scope of the TMF, CDT will help the department transition to a traditional project planning and funding model.  The department will be able to use the Discovery Sprint outputs in the Project Approval Lifecyle.

Examples of criteria to evaluate proposals include:

      • Analysis of Problem
      • Clear, concrete, mission-driven goals (and modernization alone isn’t enough)
      • Strong program, technical and operational leadership team
      • Corresponding investment from the proposing department and Agency, and a commitment to dedicate both human and financial resources as part of solution development and ongoing operations
      • Viable, fast path to delivery (12-months or less),
        Proposals can outline fully functional products, or early-stage prototype or MVP for improving government, allowing the validation of initial concepts before requesting appropriation for further development through normal budgetary processes
      • Return on investment (measured in risk reduction, financial returns, or increased quality of service)
      • Supports statewide goal(s) (e.g., Vision 2023, stabilizes critical services, addresses security risk, public-facing digital services, encourages shared services or cross-department collaboration)

How to Apply?

To start the process and submit your proposal click “Apply Now.” Be sure to check out, “Where does your IT project fit? (PDF)” for additional details and FAQ. Contact for any additional questions or assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit more than one proposal?

There is no restriction on submissions. However, each proposal will be evaluated based on being well thought out and having business support, up to and including the Chief Deputy Director or Agency Undersecretary.  We encourage submitters to ensure that the right team has been identified and that the idea is fully supported.  It may be best to focus on one idea, rather than submitting more than one.

If my proposal is selected, and I have another that meets the qualifications, can I submit and be awarded a second time?

Multiple proposals may be submitted; however, the intent is to demonstrate the viability of this funding mechanism and to assist a variety of organizations. But we realize that some may have more than one proposal that meets the TMF goals.

Will I be notified if my proposal doesn’t make the cut?

The CDT TMF team will be in close contact with submitters throughout the process. The CDT will communicate what could be improved for better chances of being selected, or may recommend moving the project forward through a traditional project planning process.

If I need help with my submission, who should I contact?

Contact for any additional questions or assistance.

TMF Proposals

Are you able to help? Let’s tackle this together!

Application for the first round are being accepted through November 12th.