Moving research from lab to market

Gap fund winners (clockwise) Samuel Dudley, Xavier Llor, Katherine Warpeha and Hayat Onyuksel. Photos: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Finding success in research isn’t the only hurdle inventors face.

Once researchers have discovered a way to turn basic science into a potentially viable commercial product, they have to actually develop the product. And that takes money.

“There’s a kind of a dead area between when something stops being science and moves into commercial application,” College of Medicine researcher Samuel Dudley said.

“Nobody seems to want to fund it. It’s critical that you get over that hump.”

UIC’s Office of Technology Management is helping researchers do just that.

Through its Proof of Concept Gap Funding Initiative, the office provides awards of up to $75,000 to UIC researchers who have technology disclosures on file with the university.

Four research projects received funding in July and more projects will receive funding this fall.

“The goal is to create products and services that will help enhance people’s lives,” said Nancy Sullivan, director of the Office of Technology Management.

The initiative is funded by the offices of Technology Management, Vice Chancellor for Research and Vice President for Research, and the colleges of Engineering, Medicine and Pharmacy.

“The program is a partnership across the University of Illinois to help advance the amazing research being done on the UIC campus,” Sullivan said.

“Projects that were funded are really high potential ideas.”

Read about the research projects:

Developing a blood test for heart failure

An alternative to colonoscopy

Targeting liver disease with gene therapy

Fortifying food crops


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Faculty, Research