(a) The steering committee of the University of Minnesota and Mayo Foundation partnership shall award grants to entities that apply for a grant under this subdivision to fund innovations and research in biomedicine and bioethics. Grant funds must be used to fund biomedical and bioethical research, and related clinical translation and commercialization activities in this state. Entities must apply for a grant in a form and manner specified by the steering committee. The steering committee shall use the following criteria to award grants under this subdivision:
(1) the likelihood that the research will lead to a new discovery;
(2) the prospects for commercialization of the research;
(3) the likelihood that the research will strengthen Minnesota's economy through the creation of new businesses, increased public or private funding for research in Minnesota, or attracting additional clinicians and researchers to Minnesota; and
(4) whether the proposed research includes a bioethics research plan to ensure the research is conducted using ethical research practices.
(b) Projects that include the acquisition or use of human fetal tissue are not eligible for grants under this subdivision. For purposes of this paragraph, "human fetal tissue" has the meaning given in United States Code, title 42, section 289g-1(f).
In awarding grants under subdivision 1, the steering committee may consult with interested parties who are able to provide technical information, advice, and recommendations on grant projects and awards. Interested parties with whom the steering committee may consult include but are not limited to representatives of private industries with expertise in biomedical research, bioethical research, clinical translation, commercialization, and medical venture financing.