POP Grants

Proof of Product (POP) Grants are part of UCI Applied Innovation’s suite of programs and initiatives to Bridge Innovation Gaps (BIG), supporting UCI projects in the early stages to effectively partner with industry to translate into commercially viable products. POP Grants provide funds to assist in developing technologies with a focus on rapid assessment of commercial feasibility. Ranging up to $125,000 per selected project, POP Grants trigger and help focus the entrepreneurial spirit among campus innovators.

Funding recommendations are made by volunteer reviewers, including external subject matter/domain experts from industry, venture capital, and trade associations.

Applied Innovation staff work with campus-based innovators to identify the most promising projects at this critical stage of development and guide applicants through the application process. All applicants receive crucial feedback from domain experts and industry, which helps strengthen projects for future funding opportunities, and aids in strategic decision-making. This dialogue between researchers and industry, over time, strengthens a culture of interdependent, collaborative innovation.

Managing POP Grants outside of a specific school or department casts a wide net among faculty and labs across all schools and departments, promoting cross-collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to research translation.

Support POP Grants

There are two ways you can support the innovations arising from UCI research and help us ensure they don’t languish in labs on campus, but find their way to people who need them; for cures to diseases, better medical treatments, world-changing technologies, and greater economic development:

  • Financial Support: We receive more quality applications for funding than we can accommodate. You can help us build a sustainable pool of funds so that we can offer two rounds of funding each year for campus innovators, and fund more projects. Contributions can support general POP Grants available to all schools across campus, or be customized based on an area of particular interest, such as medical devices or data management. Giving levels vary and start at $10,000. For more information on how you can support POP Grants financially, please contact Grace Han at gracemh@uci.edu or (949) 824-5701.
  • Volunteer as an Expert Proposal Evaluator: We need domain experts to review applications for funding and provide valuable feedback to applicants. This is an essential element to the success of the POP Grants program. We seek reviewers from multiple disciplines with the following attributes and experience:
    • Expertise in bringing products to market, particularly in prototype development and validation studies
    • Understanding of university-based research translation and commercialization processes
    • Ability to provide actionable insight to faculty applicants
    • Specific domain expertise in Engineering, Medicine, Biological Sciences, Public Health, Information and Computer Sciences or Social Sciences.

If you’d like more information on how you can become an expert evaluator, please contact Ronnie Hanecak at POPgrants@uci.edu or (949) 824-7186.