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Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Announced

The Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development is launching the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund (CIF) to raise awareness, promote innovation, and support entrepreneurship for UT’s promising innovators.

The CIF has been established to support commercialization of new technology, launch of technology-based startups, and to fund entrepreneurial opportunities for researchers and faculty members across the UT, Knoxville campus and its institutes.

Participants selected for this funding may be awarded an amount up to $50,000 to support commercialization and entrepreneurial endeavors. This program may award up to five (5) proposals. These funds cannot be used for indirect costs or to support or supplement faculty salaries. Cost share is not required.


  • Participation in the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund is open to faculty and researchers across the UT Knoxville campus and its institutes.  For funding purposes, proposals must be submitted by a UT faculty member serving as the Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Technologies proposed for the CIF program must be disclosed to the UT Research Foundation via the I.D.E.A. portal and should be on file or submitted by July 28, 2023.
  • Only technologies which have not been licensed, placed under option, and not otherwise encumbered in the same field may be submitted for consideration.

Evaluation Process

Participants are asked to submit a proposal outlining the market viability and commercialization strategies for their technology. Proposals selected by the CIF Selection Committee will be considered semi-finalists and will advance to the next stage of the program, the CIF Pitch Competition. Participants will prepare and deliver a 10-minute presentation during a live event, with evaluation conducted by a panel of judges. The judging panel will evaluate each presentation based on the criteria listed above and select a set of participants to receive CIF funding.

Submission and Review Timeline

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on August 25, 2023, with semi-finalist selection by mid-September.

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