Federally Funded Basic Research

Dollars generate dollars. Funding for scientific research results in novel technologies and innovations, new startup companies, jobs, and economic growth.

Federal funding is critical to research universities’ strength, our state’s economy, and our nation’s global competitiveness. Numerous entities within the University of Illinois System help ensure that research gets the funding it needs, when it needs it.

The Offices of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCRs) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Chicago manage pre-award research administration processes, ensure research compliance with governmental and university requirements, and oversee research centers and institutes.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Illinois at Springfield oversees pre-award and post-award research administration processes and all institutional research.

In Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015), the University of Illinois received nearly $913 million in research funding. Below is a breakdown of awarded funds.

Federal Awarded Funding

Urbana-Champaign 375,138,601
Chicago 186,941,079
Springfield 110,275
Total 562,189,955

State Awarded Funding

Urbana-Champaign 94,115,346
Chicago 37,963,416
Springfield 7,440,693



Private Awarded Funding

Urbana-Champaign 120,357,977
Chicago 90,041,769
Springfield 794,011
Total 211,193,757

Urbana-Champaign & Chicago data source: UIeRA InfoEd

Springfield data source: UIS Grants & Contracts

Public-Private Partnerships

VPEDI strengthens the links between higher education, research, and business to drive innovation. 

The University of Illinois System extends beyond teaching, research and public service. We’re also here to tackle key social challenges and drive economic growth.

While small- and mid-sized companies may not always have access to the latest technology and innovative research, larger companies sometimes lack the creativity and agility to be a source of cutting-edge, disruptive innovation. Many companies also face the challenge of finding workers with the skills to grow their businesses, particularly in high-demand tech fields. And while universities are a ready source of innovation, many have been affected by tighter constraints in federal funding and increased competition for federal grants.

The solution? Closer links between corporations and the U of I. VPEDI facilitates these partnerships, which provide a source of innovation and talent for industry and a way to expand university research support. 

Working with the University of Illinois is more than just using its intellectual property. Companies have the opportunity to leverage our top researchers’ expertise.

As industries face pressure to employ a more highly skilled workforce, deploy innovative technologies, and build new business models, research universities like the U of I are an unparalleled resource. They offer the ideas and knowledge to meet the challenges of the digital world, retain and attract top talent, and increase their global competitiveness. As the debate over the “skills gap” accelerates, corporations look to align with universities for access to a highly skilled workforce. And with industry represented at the instructional level, the curriculum can adapt more quickly to changing marketplace needs—and students acquire a skill set that’s competitive in today’s economy.

Technology Transfer Support

Every innovation follows its own unique path to market. The Offices of Technology Management (OTMs) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Chicago help lead the way.

University-owned intellectual property powers innovation in business. The OTMs have developed a system of resources that help innovators commercialize their technologies for practical use. The Urbana and Chicago OTMs handle many IP-related agreements, in addition to licenses and options.

OTM staff members also provide consultation and help negotiate intellectual property terms in major sponsored research agreements and large-scale proposals for federal funding. In FY2015, more than 220 IP-related agreements were managed by the OTMs—these include material transfer, confidentiality, evaluation, and inter-institutional agreements.

In addition, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s new ready-to-sign licensing (RTS) approach makes it easier for companies to license a range of in-demand technologies from Urbana-Champaign inventors. People can access licensing templates for the technologies via OTM’s website. The RTS license agreements all include non-negotiable terms, and some technologies are available directly from inventors via click-through agreements.

Infrastructure (Facilities, Funding, Information)

Laboratory and office space. Tools and equipment. Mentorships and national competitions. All powerful resources—and all necessary to bring transformative technology to market successfully. That’s why VPEDI backs up a statewide innovation infrastructure that supports faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs. Here are just a few examples



As the city’s premier co-working hub, 1871 connects startups and entrepreneurs with mentors, programming, educational resources such as daily events and workshops, and potential investors. The University of Illinois System co-working Space at 1871 is available to U of I faculty, students, and staff.

Health, Technology, Innovation (HTI)

The Health, Technology, Innovation (HTI) facility in the Illinois Medical District brings scientists, clinicians, engineers, and industry together for an interdisciplinary approach to drug, diagnostic, device, and IT development. Encompassing 12,000 square feet of lab and office space, HTI seeks to validate technology, convert innovation into products, and prepare projects for the marketplace.

UIC Innovation Center

A community of industry entrepreneurs and academic researchers, the Innovation Center is a collaboration, education, and incubation center embedded in the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Innovation Center team shares its expertise in service design, innovation planning, and strategic prototyping, bridging the gap in R&D for startup, mid-sized, and large companies.



At 43,000 square feet, EnterpriseWorks offers startups basic laboratory space, as well as full fit-out labs. It also provides flexible, fully furnished office space. Startups span from biotechnology and chemical sciences to software development and materials sciences, with the typical length of the incubation period at three years. EnterpriseWorks sponsors a portion of space for student entrepreneurs with free space each semester.

Research Park

Since the first building opened in January 2001, the Research Park has sprouted a vibrant, multidisciplinary community producing highly influential technological advances. It gives faculty an opportunity to commercialize new technology, allows companies to collaborate with Urbana-Champaign researchers, and provides students with experiential learning opportunities. Over the last 10 years, the Research Park has had a significant impact on the community by incubating new startups, attracting large corporations to the region, and creating jobs.

UIUC Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC)

TEC provides students with courses, certificates, workshops, and other events that educate students on the concepts of technology innovation and market adoption. TEC also administers the annual Cozad New Venture Competition and the Illinois Innovation Prize, facilitating the skills, resources, and experiences necessary for students to become successful innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

Entrepreneurial Education and Programming

From legal and financial planning to mentoring and networking events, we support the education and programming entrepreneurs need to launch their business successfully.

Startup Series

A vital intro to the legal, financial, and business planning issues that early-stage innovators need to know, the Startup Series consists of seven free, fireside-style chats with Q&A. The Startup Series runs from May to August, and is hosted in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and PROPEL.


Accelerating Women And underRepresented Entrepreneurs (AWARE) 



Illinois Proof-of-Concept Fund (I-POC)


National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps)

Share the Vision

Shared Services

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Technical Assistance

UIC Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Proof of Concept (POC) Awards


Ag Technology Innovation Summit

Big Data Summit

CU Women in Tech

Mobile Development Day

Pygmalion Tech Festival

Startup Cafe