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UIC Innovation Fund to support commericialization of UIC-based technologies

Stock photo representing UIC campus

Dear UIC Community,

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation (OVCI) is proud to announce the creation of the UIC Innovation Fund to support the commercialization of technologies developed by faculty, staff and students at UIC. The new UIC Innovation Fund will combine oversight of the Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative (CTRI) and the Proof of Concept (POC) Awards Program to streamline efforts while preserving a robust innovation pipeline. UIC initially created these programs to help university-based technologies reach important milestones critical to commercialization.  The new fund will be managed and executed in partnership with the Office of Technology Management (OTM).

Faculty researchers at UIC from a range of disciplines–including engineering, medicine, arts and humanities, and social sciences–have benefited from these programs to help bring their research closer to commercialization. To date, CTRI and POC have awarded over $5 million in funding to advance UIC innovations. These funding programs are a critical component of UIC’s innovation pipeline and have helped researchers prove the viability of their ideas and commercialize new technologies. The new UIC Innovation Fund will allow both successful programs to continue to grow and attract researchers from all disciplines to elevate their ideas into life-changing technologies.

I would like to thank the OTM and IllinoisVENTURES for managing the CTRI and POC Awards Program. Their dedication and commitment to catalyzing technology commercialization at UIC is clear in the success of both programs. IllinoisVENTURES will continue to be involved in the selection of projects, while the OTM will continue to take part in the management of these critical initiatives.

Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative

Launched in 2018, the CTRI program provides up to $25,000 to help prepare early stage projects with high commercialization potential for licensing and startup opportunities or future funding opportunities that support commercialization like the POC Awards Program.

Proof-of-Concept Award Program

The OTM launched the POC Award Program in partnership with IllinoisVENTURES in early 2012 to bridge the funding gap between basic scientific research and its entry into the marketplace as a sustainable technology. Selected proposals receive up to $50,000 for an initial six-month project, with the potential to compete for an additional $150,000 to further develop projects towards commercialization. Pre-proposals for the Phase I POC Awards are now being accepted through November 2, 2020.

Please visit for more information.


TJ Augustine
Vice Chancellor for Innovation