Technology Modernization Fund (TMF)

Proposal Process and Next Steps

The TMF is open to State entities who are looking to solve important business problems, identify the benefits to California residents and state employees, and highlight the commitment of the executive business stakeholders to fully support and invest in the effort.

Background and Requirements

State entities will submit a short proposal to be considered for the TMF via an online portal.

The 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 departmental 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

Sample Business Problem

The following is an example of a business problem description that could be considered for funding through the TMF.

Currently, when permit applicants submit a completed paper permit application, the application is scanned into a PDF file and imported into the department’s permit software system, IPS. Then, multiple reviewers are tasked with reviewing the permit and approving it. These reviews are typically done in tandem, and if reviewers have questions or concerns, they independently reach out to the applicant to request clarification or updates. This leads to version control issues. If the applicant provides updated plans to one of the reviewers, those updates are typically not shared with the other reviewers. Therefore, many reviewers may be conducting their reviews with out-of-date plans or information.

Additionally, there is no way for applicants to see where their permit stands in the review process. If an applicant wants to check on the permit’s status they either have to wait to hear from the department, or call and hope that they can speak to someone with information about their application.

This results in:

    • Higher number of phone calls and in person visits
    • Lack of visibility into status or progress
    • Inconsistent information across departments
    • Increased time to approval
    • Frustrated and annoyed applicants


Is my Project a good fit for the TMF?

What is implemented through the TMF should have value standing alone, and while it could be the basis for future modernization, it must be supported by the department. The project may also be the first step in the development of an effort that may warrant future budget action. The project scope should be focused and narrow so that the department can solve the intended business problem quickly.

Note that funding of a project through the TMF does not imply approval by CDT of the technology or approach for expansion or further investment. The successful project can be used as part of Alternatives Analysis for future project planning and Budget Change Proposals.

Evaluation of Proposals

CDT will review the completeness and the quality of each submission. Each proposal submitted will undergo the following process: 

  1. Submit proposals
  2. Initial review/ recommendations by advisory group
  3. Human-centered design workshop
  4. Pitch to selection committee
  5. Selection

Expectations of TMF Awardees

If selected as a finalist, the project team will collaborate with the CDT to identify the solution path, market viability, resources, schedule, and cost. If the project proposal continues to align with the TMF goals (scope, schedule and cost) it will be selected to move forward.

Depending on the amount of pre-planning that the department has done, and readiness to move forward, you may be able to move straight into procurement which will accelerate you through the project planning process.

Each of the selected projects will undergo a readiness assessment to determine if a four-week Discovery/Design Sprint with a Civic Tech partner is necessary. The outcome will be a project proposal that identifies the solution path, market viability, resources, schedule, and estimated cost.

If the project proposal continues to align with the TMF goals (scope, schedule and cost) the project will proceed. 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 Lifecycle (PAL).

How to Apply?

The portal for the second round is closed and the next round will open later this year. Contact for 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 the right team has been identified and the idea is fully supported. It may be best to focus on one idea, rather than submitting more than one proposal.

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

CDT understands that a department may have more than one proposal that meets the TMF goals. Multiple proposals may be submitted. However, the intent is to demonstrate the viability of this funding mechanism and to assist a variety of organizations. Therefore, priority may be given to proposals from departments that have not previously received funding through the TMF.

Will I be notified if my proposal isn’t selected?

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.

Portal is Closed

The proposal period for the next round will open later this year.