The UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund (CIF) is pleased to announce the first round of 2013 Proof-of-Concept (POC) Awards Program winners. A total of 47 pre-proposals from across the UIC Campus were submitted in this inaugural round of the CIF POC Awards Program. According to Chancellor Allen-Meares, “The response from the UIC inventor community re-affirms the importance and relevance of the CIF. 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 business leaders. Of those ten, six proposals were chosen to receive funding totaling over $400,000.

Below is the list of award recipients and their projects:

Venkat Venkatakrishnan, PhD
Department of Computer Science
Project Title: Security Analysis of Online Enterprise Websites

Amin Salehi-Khojin, PhD & Bijandra Kumar, PhD
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE)
Project Title: Novel Catalysts for Syngas Production by CO2 Reduction

Ying Liu, PhD
Department of Chemical Engineering
Project Title: Scalable Process for Manufacturing Nanoparticles Encapsulating Hydrophobic Compounds

Nadim Mahmud, MD, PhD & Sri Hari S Kadkol, MD, PhD
Section of Hematology/Oncology & Department of Pathology
Project Title: Expanded Cord Blood as an Off-the-Shelf Bridge Graft to Augment Blood Cell Numbers

John R. Hetling, PhD & Jason McAnany, PhD
Department of Bioengineering & Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Project Title: Detecting Glaucoma where it Starts

Sandeep Jain, MD
Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Project Title: New Drug for Treating Dry Eye Disease – Phase I/II Human Trial

The first round of the POC Awards Program was a success and now the CIF is looking forward to the start of the second round. The second round of POC is set to launch on September 4th 2013 with Pre- Proposal Applications due on October 3rd. The CIF and its partners are confident that the second round will be just as successful, if not more, than the first.

The UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund was established by the Office of the Chancellor, in partnership with IllinoisVENTURES, to support the commercialization of technology developed by faculty, staff and students at UIC. This program would not have been possible without the support and funding from the Office of the Chancellor, IllinoisVENTURES, the Office of Technology Management and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our POC Review Committee represented by IllinoisVENTURES, ARCH Venture Partners, Baird Capital, Hyde Park Angels and Mercury Fund