The UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund (CIF) was established by the UIC Office of the Chancellor to enhance the Proof of Concept (POC) Awards Program’s capability to bridge the gap between basic research and commercialization. The CIF is a $10 million hybrid proof-of-concept and equity investment fund to be disbursed over five years. One million dollars per year will be used for equity seed investments through IllinoisVENTURES, the University’s venture capital arm. This provides support to early stage technology firms launched by the University in order to bolster the commercialization of research-derived technology developed at UIC. Another $1 million annually funds the POC Awards Program, which provides up to $75,000 for projects that originate at UIC and are disclosed to the UIC Office of Technology Management (OTM).
During the inaugural round of the CIF POC Awards Program, 47 pre-proposals were submitted from across the UIC Campus.
“The response from the UIC inventor community re-affirms the importance and relevance of the CIF,” said Chancellor Allen-Meares. “This round of funding will go a long way to encourage the type of innovative thinking that UIC needs to continue its tradition as one of the top research institutions in the nation.”
Ten finalists were chosen to submit full proposals and present their projects to a panel of venture capitalists and industry leaders from IllinoisVENTURES, ARCH Venture Partners, Baird Capital, Hyde Park Angels and Mercury Fund.