Joint Research and Innovation Seed Grants Program (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Illinois)

4 August, 2022

Call for Proposals published August 4, 2022
Proposal submission deadline October 28, 2022
Announcement of awards December 2022
Commencing the proposed activities January 1, 2023

For further information please contact
HUJI: Alma Lessing (almal@savion.huji.ac.il; +972-2-5880454)
University of Illinois: Jisu Hong (jisuhong@uillinois.edu; +1-217-300-6686)

Purpose of the Program
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) and the University of Illinois System (U of I) are jointly launching the third round of the Joint Research and Innovation Seed Grants Program for university research scientists. This program aims to facilitate both research and development cooperation and delivery of talent, innovations, and resources from these universities to the marketplace. The program will be interdisciplinary in nature and the review process will include assessing innovation and commercialization potential. The goal of these awards is to promote economic development through R&D of innovative technologies, while facilitating cooperation between the two universities. Information on the funded projects from round one and round two of the program can be found on the following links:
https://news.uillinois.edu/view/7815/319628159
https://news.uillinois.edu/view/7815/1900114708


The Hebrew University’s International Office and the University of Illinois System’s Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation (OVPEDI) will administer the program.

Priority Areas
Priority focus areas for the program include agriculture, artificial intelligence, data science, and medicine. Both universities’ worldwide reputation and standing in these topic areas – along with the strong potential for technology development and commercialization – made them clear choices for this seed grant program.
Interdisciplinary initiatives are being encouraged. The joint funding program aims at supporting first as well as more advanced steps in a proof of concept collaboration. The application should address the commercial viability of the project, technical details and overall planning, the clarification of intellectual property rights that are likely to be generated (position and strategy), and plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned.

Funding
• Total funding available for this round is $200,000. Costs will be shared equally by HUJI and U of I.
• $50,000 will be awarded to each project, and up to four projects will be funded. Each team will have at least one participant from HUJI and one participant from U of I with an even distribution of budget for each university.
• The project must be completed within two years of funding.
• Funding can be used for personnel expenses for postdocs and student workers (no faculty salaries), supplies, travel, meetings and for additional expenses that are necessary to move research forward. No indirect cost recoveries (ICR) can be charged to these grants.
• Selected teams will submit an annual technical and fiscal summary report/presentation.

Intellectual Property (IP)
For purposes of this program, intellectual property will remain with the university that generated such intellectual property (what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours). In the event that new intellectual property will be generated jointly by the universities from the seed funding, both universities will agree to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with respect to intellectual property ownership, management, protection and further development and exploitation.

Application
Proposals for the activities that will last for two years must be jointly submitted by faculty of the HUJI and U of I. Participants are encouraged to include both senior and junior faculty of HUJI and U of I. All teams will be interdisciplinary in nature and each team will have at least one participant from HUJI AND one participant from U of I. Applicants must be faculty members of the universities. Priority will be given to applying teams which have not received previous support within this scheme.

The supported activities should have a clearly defined focus with scientific and technical merit, demonstrate innovation and economic impact, and serve as a catalyst for moving research forward to a path of commercialization (when relevant). The activities can take place either at HUJI or the U of I. Inclusion of third parties is permitted, however the additional costs must be covered by these partners themselves.
The proposal should clearly explain the motivation for holding the activity, including how the relevant HUJI and U of I institutes or departments are involved and can benefit in the long term from this cooperation and what synergies can arise.
Selection Criteria
Funding for joint activities will be provided on a competitive basis, following the criteria below:

 

  1. Scientific merit, technical merit, excellence of innovation potential, potential impact - 40%
  2. Clear plan and goals for the activity during the two-year program - 20%
  3. Description of the HUJI and U of I PI’s research profiles (interdisciplinary nature, excellence of project leaders, scope of the fields/labs represented in the proposed activity) and synergy between them - 25%
  4. Suitable outline of how the commercialization or the generation of the listed benefits will be achieved. Information on how the cooperation can be sustained beyond the initial seed funding phase; plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned. Plans to assess and validate the quality and effectiveness of the project’s outcomes. - 15%


Evaluation
Evaluation will be conducted by a joint team consisting of representatives from Hebrew University
and the University of Illinois System. Selection of representatives will be coordinated by the HUJI
International Office and the U of I System OVPEDI.
Program Progress and Review
Selected teams will submit an annual technical and fiscal summary report/presentation.
Submission and Deadlines
The application will be submitted using the following link: https://go.uillinois.edu/HUJI-UI-Proposal
The proposal should include the following sections:
1. Executive Summary
2. Project description/narrative (up to 7 pages) including:
a. Clearly formulated project plan and goals
b. Innovation and Commercialization potential and benefits
c. Plan to assess effectiveness of proposal outcome
3. Project timeline (max. project duration two years)
4. Project Budget (USD)
a. HUJI (USD)
b. U of I (USD)
Please provide a breakdown following the attached template. - "budget table.vF.xlsx"
5. Description of HUJI and U of I PI’s research profiles (interdisciplinary nature,
excellence of project leaders, scope of the fields/labs represented in the proposed
activity) and synergy between them.
6. Information on how the cooperation can be sustained beyond the initial seed funding
phase; plans for securing funding for the project at the end of this seed grant and
other forms of commercial discussion that are envisioned
7. How IP will be addressed
8. Written endorsement statement of respective HUJI/U of I heads of
faculty/department/institute
9. Short CVs of project leaders on both sides and list of other HUJI/U of I participants