URBANA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Office of Technology Management (OTM) is proud to announce the 2014 awardees of the Illinois Proof-of-Concept (I-POC) Fund. I-POC enables development of projects that demonstrate an innovation’s market viability to potential investors and partners.
“The I-POC program supports University innovations by bridging the gap between research and business, with a goal of making important technologies visible to the marketplace,” said Lesley Millar-Nicholson, director of the University’s Office of Technology Management.
2014 I-POC Award Recipients
This year’s awardees focus their research in varied areas of academia, ranging from engineering to chemistry to music to agricultural engineering.
Kaustubh Bhalerao, from the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, for developing a Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) testing service that is twenty times faster and provides more precise data than existing solutions.
Stephen Boppart, from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the College of Engineering, for his Quantitative Pneumatic Otoscope, which uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize middle ear contents.
Martin D. Burke, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for advancing a non-toxic amphotericin towards clinical candidacy by discovering a compound with the potential to become frontline therapy in the antifungal market.
Andrew Singer, College of Engineering Professor and Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center, for developing a high-speed underwater wireless communications system.
Heinrich Taube, from the College of Fine and Applied Arts, for Harmonia, an innovative application, which aims to replace paper-based music theory instruction with an app that allows musical content to be created, edited, searched, annotated, and automatically graded.
The Selection Process
Recipients were selected based on their innovation’s potential for impact, both commercially and technologically. During the highly competitive selection process, proposals were reviewed by both an internal University committee and a multidisciplinary group of scientists, industry professionals, and investors.
The I-POC Fund is currently made possible through contributions from colleges & units across campus and matching funds from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Office of Technology Management is managing the I-POC Fund and is also working with campus advancement officers to create an ongoing and sustainable source of funding via donations from alumni.
How I-POC Helps
With the objective of reducing business risk in the early stages of development, the I-POC program helps to bridge the development gap, which is common when commercializing early-stage research. The University’s I-POC funding program advances discoveries and innovations on the edge of commercialization that require an opportunity to prove their commercial viability.
About the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign boasts a respected faculty, high national rankings, and state-of-the-art facilities. The University’s accomplishments include 22 Nobel Laureates among its faculty and alumni and such revolutionary innovations as the Web browser, new plant varieties, and even the discovery of a third form of life.