UChicago to Mentor Illinois Tech as Part of $6M NSF Program to Accelerate Research Translation

Photo credit: National Science Foundation

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will help support translational activities at the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of a $6 million investment from the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Research Translation program.

A unique feature of the program is a partnership with a mentoring institution with a robust translational research ecosystem. The Illinois Institute of Technology partnered with the University of Chicago, which, through a sub-award, will share technology management and licensing administration best practices.

Led by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which houses the University of Chicago’s technology transfer function, other activities will include establishing standardized processes and sharing agreement templates. The Polsky Center will also provide educational seminars and case-by-case consultation, in addition to making various entrepreneurship programming available to Illinois Tech students, staff, and faculty.

“We at the University of Chicago are excited to collaborate with Illinois Tech in this transformative endeavor,” said Bill Payne, executive director, science and technology at the Polsky Center and co-principal investigator. “As a fellow mission-driven university on Chicago’s South Side, we share a commitment to fostering innovation and inclusive growth within our vibrant community.”

The NSF is investing more than $100 million in 18 teams across the nation. Each awardee will receive up to $6 million over four years to identify and accelerate academic research with potential societal and economic impacts. It will also support needed staff with technology transfer expertise in addition to the education and training of entrepreneurial faculty and students.

“NSF endeavors to empower academic institutions to build the pathways and structures needed to speed and scale their research into products and services that benefit the nation,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “The Accelerating Research Translation program in NSF’s new Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate identifies, and champions institutions positioned to expand their research translation capacity by investing in activities essential to move results to practice.”

Launched by NSF’s TIP Directorate and authorized by the “CHIPS and Science Act of 2022” the Accelerating Research Translation program addresses the gap between academic research and the products, services, and solutions Americans need.

In addition to building the infrastructure for translational research at institutes of higher education, the program also aims to enhance their overall role in innovation ecosystems, while training graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in translational research.

// For more information, visit the ART program webpage.

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