Internal Competition Completed

Principal Investigators Selected
  • Michael Scott, Engineering and UIC Innovation Center
  • Shaolin Yang, Medicine

Program Summary

Program Summary

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner to build technological, human, and service system innovation capacity. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered smart service system with the potential to achieve transformational change in an existing service system or to spur an entirely new service system. These technologies have been inspired by existing breakthrough discoveries.


Service systems are socio-technical configurations of people, technologies, organizations, and information designed to deliver services that create and deliver value [1]. A "smart" service system is a system capable of learning, dynamic adaptation, and decision making based upon data received, transmitted, and/or processed to improve its response to a future situation. The system does so through self-detection, self-diagnosing, self-correcting, self-monitoring, self-organizing, self-replicating, or self-controlled functions. These capabilities are the result of the incorporation of technologies for sensing, actuation, coordination, communication, control, etc. The system may exhibit a sequence of features such as detection, classification, and localization that lead to an outcome occurring within a reasonable time.


PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental discovery space but precede being on a clear path to commercialization. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system with human factors considerations, which in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.


Partnership activities that drive sustained innovation include the targeted allocation of resources such as capital, time, and facilities; and sharing of knowledge in a cross-organizational and interdisciplinary context. The project must involve research tasks that demonstrate a highly collaborative research plan with participation of the primary industrial partner with the academic researcher during the life of the award.


WEBINARS: Webinars will be held to answer questions about the solicitation. Register on the PFI:BIC website where details will be posted ( Potential proposers and their partners are encouraged to attend.

NSF expects to make 10 total awards of up to $1,000,000 with an award duration of three (3) years.


Application Limits

Application Limits

UIC is limited to two (2) proposals as a lead institution preferably involving distinct application areas.

Additional Information


UIC Letter of Intent
October 14, 2014
UIC Internal Competition
Sponsor Letter of Intent
December 3, 2014
Sponsor Application
January 28, 2015

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form


Depending upon the number of LOIs submitted, OVCR might be required to facilitate an internal peer review process to select UIC’s submission(s) to this program.  White paper instructions will be forwarded to those who submit LOIs.

Please limit your Lay summary to no more than 1500 characters inclusive of spaces.


Please contact Tony Halford at or 6-7036 with any questions.

If an authorized principal investigator is not listed above, please consider the limited competition still open. Contact for further information.