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Illinois IGB

IGB Proof of Concept Funding

June 1, 2012

The Institute for Genomic Biology, with support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), is pleased to announce a call for proposals for Proof of Concept (POC) funding. The IGB POC initiative aims to foster downstream capitalization of research and enable innovative technologies to reach important milestones which may accelerate their translation into licensable products and services.

IGB invites all affiliated faculty to submit an application for POC funding. The goal of the POC funding is to “de-risk” an IGB invention such that the technology is more prepared for either (1) licensing to an existing company or (2) enabling the formation of a start-up company that will further develop and commercialize the technology.  Research projects that relate to a technology that could address a significant market need and are able to achieve proof of concept in less than twelve months are especially encouraged.   

Key Dates

  • Call for Proposals Announced – June 18th, 2012
  • Proposal Deadline – July 31st, 2012
  • Awards Announced – August 16th, 2012
  • Projected Start – September 16th, 2012

Eligibility Criteria

  • Funding Amounts: A maximum of $75,000 per project will be awarded.  Applicants will need to provide strong budget justification with milestones, deliverables, and deadlines.
  • Principal Investigator: The Principal Investigator (PI) must be an IGB affiliated faculty. Additional collaborators may be included as co-PIs. Research must be carried out at IGB.
  • Project Content: An invention disclosure, on which the project is based, must be on file with the Office of Technology Management (OTM) prior to the proposal submission deadline of July 31st, 2012. The PI must be the lead inventor of the technology.
  • Submission Process: Applications must be submitted to Jennifer Quirk, Associate Director, IGB, by July 31st, 2012 using the PowerPoint template provided.
  • Selection Process: Technologies will be selected through a competitive process. The review committee, with the assistance of industry experts, will review the proposals and make final funding decisions. The selection criteria are noted below.


Use the PowerPoint template provided to address the following topics:

  • Provide a problem statement and the unmet needs that are addressed by the technology.
  • List the business opportunities and potential licensees for the technology.
  • Provide information about the current state of the technology.
  • Provide proof-of-concept aims.
  • Provide milestones, deliverables, and datelines together with budget information.

Include the PI’s CV that highlights PI’s prior experience in commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria is summarized here. Download the full review criteria.

  • Has the proposal met the basic submission requirements? 5%
  • What is the strength of intellectual property that exists now or will be generated? 30%
  • What is the market attractiveness of this technology? 30%
  • Is the POC funding an appropriate enabler of commercialization for this technology? 20%
  • Has the inventor demonstrated experience and interest in commercialization? 15%

Additional Questions
Any questions about the process or criteria for selection may be directed to Jen Rice, Associate Technology Manager at The Office of Technology Management (OTM),, (217) 244-1275.

June 1, 2012
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