By Julia Lane
The Big Ideas Generator (BIG) has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 Chicago Innovation Awards. BIG, an initiative of Arete, is a platform to systematically identify, fund, and support the long-term growth of early-stage, breakthrough ideas in basic research.
Over 500 of the region's innovators have been nominated for the 2015 Chicago Innovation Awards. This annual celebration brings together those who are pioneering innovation with brand new products, services and processes. In the next step of the competition, a panel of judges will select the 22 winners. Winners are announced at the Chicago Innovation Awards Ceremony on October 27th at the Harris Theater. The top 100 finalists will also be profiled on the Chicago Innovation Awards website during the People’s Choice Award voting, in which thousands of Chicagoans will view their innovation and vote for their favorite.
BIG identifies promising, early-stage ideas via a rigorous selection process. Projects undergo dual review levels - by peer experts outside of the University of Chicago and by a multidisciplinary Faculty Advisory Board. Winners receive up to $100,000 and develop a 2-year research business plan to ensure their scientific, institutional and financial development. A team of research strategists works with the scientists to help the project to secure external funding past the initial award and become established. The funding mechanism relies on private philanthropic donations to the University to fuel the early-stage, bold scientific projects within the institutional structure.
BIG’s Fall 2015 funding cycle will open on October 14, and we will be offering three exciting opportunities. All proposals must be submitted by Monday November 2, 2015.