Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 2pm

Chicago Booth Gearing Up for First Phase of Innovation Hub: MBA News

Chicago Innovation Exchange nears next month's launch

The first phase of the Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE), a new innovation hub which will heavily involve faculty, students and alumni at Chicago Booth School of Business, is rapidly approaching its October launch-date.

Chicago Booth’s dean, Sunil Kumar, will chair the Chicago Innovation Exchange’s board of governance as it seeks to bring together faculty from across the University of Chicago with commercial partners that can help transform breaking scientific research into marketable products.

“I personally am quite excited about this. Not only will it help the rest of the university commercialize socially impactful ideas, but it will help our MBA students access even more interesting ventures,” Sunil Kumar told the Chicago Tribune, adding that the innovation hub is to work closely with the existing Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, led by Chicago Booth’s Ellen Rudnick.

Further partners in the new scheme include national research labs affiliated with the University of Chicago including The Marine Biological Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

Phase one merely the start for Chicago Innovation Exchange

The first phase of the Chicago Innovation Exchange is concentrated on providing co-working and office space for participating students, faculty, alumni (who can act as mentors) from Chicago Booth and the wider university as well as partners and locally-based entrepreneurs.

However, grander plans are afoot (although as yet un-timetabled) that will see a “30,000-40,000-square-foot prototyping, wet lab, and computer fabrication core facility,” constructed for use by all those involved in the innovation hub.

In addition, speaking earlier this year about the platform’s potential in the biotech arena, John Flavin executive director of the Chicago Innovation Exchange, explained that a US$20 million fund was to be made available to companies emanating from the innovation hub:

“Something in the lab at the University of Chicago today could be the seed technology in the next [biotech firm] Amgen, and the CIE will play a key role in enabling those types of innovators to get to market.”

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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