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The ICS AGILE (Advance Great Inventions or Leave Early) program provides up to two years of project support for faculty-led, pre-commercial development teams. This two-year program provides teams with the funding and space to further develop and de-risk their ideas before commercialization. Teams receive robust support from ICS regarding market trends, investors, industry connections, and other pre-commercial resources through access to innovation postdoctoral fellows, innovation faculty fellows, ICS staff and Innovate Carolina services. 

Support Mechanisms 

Multiple avenues for support are available, including project funding, allocation of space in the Genome Sciences Building, project support from innovation postdoctoral fellows and ICS staff, and mentoring support from innovation faculty fellows and entrepreneurs in residence. Applicants will have the opportunity to select whether they request funding, space or both. All awardees will receive mentoring and staff support. 


AGILE awards are available to support pre-commercial projects led by UNC faculty researchers and their teams. Commercial-stage projects are referred to the KickStart Venture Services Grant Award Program.  

Selection Criteria 

  • The application must clearly identify an invention or technology that, if developed, has the potential for broad impact as a commercial or social innovation. Half of the selection weight will be based on an assessment of the significance of the invention or technology. 
  • The application must explain how the funds and/or space will contribute to the project by clearing obstacles created by lack of time, space, or support that are hindering the faculty or their research group in their development work. 30 percent of the selection weight will be based on the likelihood that the funds requested will significantly improve the ability of the PI to develop the invention or technology. 
  • The application must include the amount of funding and/or space requested and explain why that amount is sufficient. 20 percent of the selection weight will be based on the appropriateness and sufficiency of the funds/space to accomplish the desired objective.

Selection Process 

Applications will be reviewed by the faculty director of convergent science, the ICS leadership team, and the ICS advisory board. The funding decision will be made by the faculty director of convergent science in consultation with the other reviewers.