February 7, 2020  |  Nancy Tyrrell

Two Information Sessions at UChicago about the CBC Accelerator and Catalyst Award programs — a recap

The Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) hosted two information sessions at the University of Chicago focused on the Accelerator and Catalyst Award programs. The first event was held on January 17 in the Knapp Center of Biomedical Discovery (KCBD) and the second on January 24 in the Gordon Center for Integrative Science (GCIS).

Lucy Godley, CBC Scientific Director for UChicago, opened the sessions by welcoming attendees and providing a brief history of the CBC. Next, the CBC’s Entrepreneurial Fellows (EFs), Eric Schiffhauer and Carissa Heath gave a presentation about the CBC Catalyst and Accelerator Award programs. Carissa highlighted the Catalyst Award program which provides up to $250,000 for up to two years of funding for new inter-institutional collaborative research projects that are high-risk / high-reward, innovative and transformative and address fundamental biological and/or biomedical research questions. Carissa also described the eligibility and collaboration requirements needed to be fulfilled in order to apply for a Catalyst award. Catalyst teams must consist of tenured or tenure-track faculty from at least two of the CBC universities. The next Catalyst Award application submission deadline is set for February 21, 2020.

Eric provided an overview of the CBC Accelerator Award program. He described how the program supports translational research in the initial, and therefore, highest risk, stage of commercially-directed research focused on the development of a therapeutic or an associated biomarker or diagnostic. Eric discussed the eligibility requirements of the Accelerator program and the application process which includes a Letter of Intent, a live presentation at a Chicago Biomedical Consortium Accelerator Network (CBCAN) event and a full proposal submission. The Accelerator program does not require an inter-institutional collaboration and provides up to $250,000 for a two-year award, with an initial award of $100,000 for one year, and, if the milestones are met, the PI is invited to apply for an additional $150,000 for a second year of funding. Letters of Intent for the upcoming round of Accelerator Award applications are due by March 6, 2020.

Eric and Carissa wrapped up their presentations with a brief description of the CBC EF Award program. The information sessions then transitioned to panel discussions that included CBC Accelerator awardees Chuan He (UChicago) and Jing Li (UIC), Catalyst awardees Bryan Dickinson (UChicago) and Steve Kron (UChicago) and technology transfer officers, Bob Okabe (UChicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and Michael Moore (Northwestern’s INVO). The panelists shared their experiences about applying for the CBC award programs and how the CBC awards were instrumental in moving their research programs forward. They also described how their interactions with the university technology transfer representatives were extremely beneficial during the application process. In addition, Steve Kron and Chuan He provided insight into the Catalyst review process as they both served in the past of the CBC Catalyst Review Board.

Lunch was served at each of the information sessions and the panelists, CBC representatives and attendees engaged in networking and Q&A upon conclusion of each event.

Enjoy a photo gallery of the event!

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See more:

▸ UChicago Information Session Slide Deck (01/17/20; PDF)
▸ UChicago Information Session Slide Deck (01/24/20; PDF)

▸ Accelerator Award RFA
▸ Funded Accelerator Awards

▸ Catalyst Award RFA
▸ Funded Accelerator Awards

▸ Entrepreneurial Fellows (EF) Award Program
▸ Funded Entrepreneurial Fellows