Streamlining grant management for startups at UMASS

Jun 27, 2024
Streamlining grant management for startups at UMASS

The Client

MassAITC (Massachusetts AI and Technology Center for Connected Care in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease) is a collaborative initiative funded by a $20 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, aimed at developing AI-enhanced technologies to improve in-home care for older adults and Alzheimer's patients.
It’s related to UMass Amherst and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
MassAITC selects pilot research projects for funding and had a process on Airtable for grant management.

The Challenge

  • The Airtable base was a stack of spreadsheets with duplicated content. Ex: there were 5 places to update a project email address.
  • Didn’t have time to set up the correct airtable structure.
  • It was a manual/time consuming process following up and verifying if reporting data had been collected.
  • 2 admin staff, currently 25 funded projects. Couldn’t scale with these manual efforts.

The Solution

  • Connex migrated their Airtable structure to be more of a database with linked tables instead of disconnected spreadsheets.
  • Connex built automations and forms, for reminders and data collection from mentors and funded programs.
  • Connex improved the interface for reporting to key stakeholders.

The Results

  • Mentors and Project leader satisfaction increased through more simple reporting process and reminders.
  • Admin staff saved 1 hour a month per funded project allowing them to scale projects without adding staff.
  • Admin staff understands Airtable better and can manage and grow the system.