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Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM)

Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM)

Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM) is a technology acceleration program through the University of California, San Diego's Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC).

Overview

The Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM) is a technology accelerator through the University of California, San Diego's Office of Innovation and Commercialization. The program is designed to accelerate the translation of technologies developed in the University of California, San Diego to bring them to the market. This includes supporting the formation and growth of startups in the UC San Diego campus. The AIM program works to partner with industry members and companies to help bring these technologies to market, and is designed to lower the risk of technology transfer, strengthen the UC San Diego innovation ecosystem, and increase social and economic impact.

In the call for 2021-2022 applications, AIM announced partnerships with EMD-Serono, Merck KGaA Darmstadt, and Takeda Oncology, to provide mentoring, resources, funding, and access to partners and investors for participants in the program. Other partners that have worked with the AIM program have included Mintz Levin, First Republic Bank, Bow Capital, DEERFIELD, and Poseidon Innovation, which have provided $2.6 million in grant award funding to different startups.

Application criteria

The program looks for projects in the areas of the life sciences, especially in the the following research tracks:

  • Software-based healthcare technologies
  • Medical devices or diagnostic tools
  • Therapeutics, antibodies & small molecules
  • Pandemic preparedness
  • Women's health
  • Microbiome interventions
  • Electroceutical therapies
  • Quantum computing
  • Life science technology development
  • Artificial intelligence and digital platforms for healthcare and diagnostics

The program also looks for projects in the following areas of social sciences and environmental research:

  • Oceanographic devices and tools
  • Seismographic and geologic interventions or tools
  • Energy, smart transportation, and IoT civic grid
  • Software and digital platforms

In this, the program looks for proposals with early-stage, proof-of-concept, feasible projects with prototype development that could lead to field testing. And the program requires any intellectual property involved in a proposal to be from the UC San Diego community; however, a combination of UC San Diego applicants and non-university IP has been accepted before. Applicants have to be either UC San Diego faculty, researchers, and postdocs with team support, or UC San Diego teams with an engineering or medical student engaged in the project. The AIM program prefers, though, to have applicants with UC San Diego intellectual property, with pre-company formation technologies, and especially technologies that take an interdisciplinary approach.

For teams that are accepted into the AIM program, the Office of Innovation and Commercialization funds and supports the teams and their projects. And for teams seeking matching funding commitments for de-risking and helping advance projects to commercialization are seen as particularly desirable. The funds are awarded are for use during the fiscal year of the application.

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