Funding & Awards

The UIC Chancellor's Innovation Fund is pleased to announce the launch of the Proof of Concept (POC) Awards Program focused on helping advance UIC inventions towards commercialization. The POC Awards Program, through funding committed by the Chancellor to the UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, is expected to include $1,000,000 per year for the next five years for competitive grants that will help reduce the technical or commercial risks related to UIC inventions and improve the chances for successful commercialization. The POC Awards Program is administered by IllinoisVENTURES in partnership with the UIC Office of Technology Management and the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

What is the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund

The Chancellor’s Innovation Fund has been established at UIC in partnership with IllinoisVENTURES with a goal to position UIC as a leader in technology acceleration. The innovation fund links emerging technologies, federally funded innovation grants, alumni, donors, corporations, investors and the greater community. The fund provides milestone-based funding to improve commercialization potential and invest in UIC startups to accelerate innovation.

UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Proof of Concept Awards Program

The POC Awards Program is administered by IllinoisVENTURES in partnership with the UIC Office of Technology Management and the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

The POC Awards Program will be conducted once yearly in the fall with $1,000,000 per round available for projects. In Phase I, innovators may receive up to $50,000 (Final award amounts will be determined by scope of work of milestones to be completed with the input of the review committees) and have 6 months to complete a single, key milestone. Once complete, the Phase I awardees must submit a final report in order to be considered for Phase II funding where awardees may receive up to $150,000 (Final award amounts will be determined by scope of work of milestones to be completed with the input of the review committees) and have 12 months to complete additional commercially significant milestones. Final awardees for each phase are selected by an external panel of venture capitalists, industry experts and business leaders. To be eligible for funding, projects must be based on a UIC invention that has been disclosed to the Office of Technology Management. For instructions on submitting a Pre-Proposal Application and to download a Pre-Proposal Application form, please visit the cif.uic.edu website.  We  highly encourage faculty inventors to schedule a meeting with their OTM Tech Manager and IllinoisVENTURES to discuss their proposed project prior to submitting a Pre-Proposal Application. This meeting will help generate ideas for creating a competitive proposal and will also allow for a discussion on whether a project or technology may be too early-stage for POC Awards funding.  Additional information on the POC Awards Program including application material will be made available on the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund website.

We are excited to launch the POC Awards Program as a part of the UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund to support UIC faculty to advance their inventions towards commercialization. IllinoisVENTURES would sincerely like to thank the Office of the Chancellor for the commitment to commercialization of UIC discoveries as well as the Office of Technology Management and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for making this program possible.

Visit the UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund website for updates on the POC Awards Program and other news around the UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund.