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Announcing the 2015 Illinois Proof-of-Concept Program Award Recipients

The Office of Technology Management (OTM) is proud to announce the 2015 awardees of the Illinois Proof-of-Concept Funding Program (I-POC). I-POC funds development projects that will help demonstrate an innovation's viability to potential investors and partners.

2015 I-POC Award Recipients:

This year’s I-POC award recipients were selected from a stellar pool of applicants from  colleges and units across campus. The seven recipients research ranges from biological engineering and chemistry to social work and industrial design.



Rohit Bhargava

Beckman Institute for Advanced Technology
Next Gen Molecular Pathology



Brendan Harley

Carl R. Woese Institute 
for Genomic Biology
Engineered Tissue Systems


Paul Hergenrother

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Novel Antibiotics for Drug-Resistant Pathogens


Matthew Hudson

College of Agricultural, Consumer 
and Environmental Sciences
A Genetic Marker System to Reduce Variation in Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance



Deana McDonagh

College of Fine and Applied Arts
AmpliMy: a Wheelchair Voice Amplifier


James Shriner

College of Education
IEP Quality: a Web-based Individualized Education Program Tutorial and Decision-making Support System


Douglas Smith

School of Social Work
A Peer Support Mobile Application for Friends of Emerging Adults with Alcohol Problems

The Selection Process

Recipients were selected based on their innovation's potential for impact, both commercially and technologically. The highly-competitive selection process required candidates to submit a pre-proposal, and if invited, a full proposal, which was evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of researchers, industry professionals, and investors.

Fund Participants

The I-POC Fund is made possible by contributions from colleges and units across campus and matching funds from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. 

Proof-of-Concept Funding Works

Previous proof-of-concept projects at the University have helped enable:

  • 9 start-up companies 
  • $49 million raised in venture and angel funding, including a $45 million investment from Third Rock Ventures in the launch of Revolution Medicines
  • More than $1.3 million in additional government funding support
For More Information

Please visit the Office of Technology Management's website for more information on the Illinois Proof-of-Concept Funding Program, or contact Nicole Nair at