UCI researchers face a gap in the funding and resources needed to commercialize early stage technologies.
Leveraging $2.2 million over 3 years in funding through AB2664 legislation, the Bridging Innovations Gaps (BIG) initiative will strengthen our regional innovation infrastructure.
The BIG Initiative:
The BIG initiative bridges the gap between promising UCI research and commercialization and spurs regional economic development. This investment enhances and strengthens 3 synergistic programs:
Proof of Product (POP) Grants
Grants of up to $125,000 are provided to campus entrepreneurs to move promising early technologies closer to commercialization. A BIG goal is to triple the number of POP grant submissions and projects funded by 2020.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants
Outreach, training, and support to increase successful applications for the SBIR/STTR federal grants are an important tool for campus labs and partnered companies. A BIG goal is to increase the numbers of successful SBIR/STTR applicants, as well as the number of UCI innovations that progress from Phase I to Phase 2 funding.
BioENGINE (Bioengineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
BioENGINE brings ongoing industry engagement and expertise, partnering with students and faculty to commercialize early innovations in healthcare, biomedical devices, and wellness technologies. Focusing on rapid assessment of commercial feasibility, BioENGINE connects campus entrepreneurs to over 300 medical device companies in Orange County. A BIG goal is to keep increasing the number of successful BioENGINE participants.