Designed to accelerate the translation of UC San Diego technologies to market, UC San Diego’s Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM) program helps support the formation and growth of startups in the campus ecosystem.

AIM DRIVES IMPACT: 20 Prototypes, 11 Startups, and over $10.3 million follow-on funding.

Accelerating Innovations to Market (AIM) is modeled to lower the risk of technology transfer through short-range milestone projects by providing mentoring, resources, funding, and access to partners and investors. AIM strengthens the UC San Diego innovation ecosystem and empowers entrepreneurial engagement with a commercialization strategy that catalyzes startup formation across the southern California region. 

Since 2016, AIM has partnered with over 30 industry advisors includingPremier Innovation Partner EMD-Serono, and key industry collaborators Mintz Levin, First Republic Bank, Bow Capital, DEERFIELD, Poseidon Innovation, and Takeda Oncology with nearly $2.6 million in grant award funding.

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Beyond selection and review opportunities, funded AIM teams also receive access to vetted capital partners who can support market discovery, technology development, and asset management strategy - all of which are essential parts of the university’s mission to support the formation and growth as well as success of startups in our ecosystem.




Designing and translating early research to therapeutics in 2018, Dr. Albert Hsiao, Radiology successfully negotiated follow-on work with GE Healthcare for further development and a multi-site evaluation of university-developed MRI Autopilot technology. Furthermore, the team negotiated another follow-on project with GE related to Autopilot work to incorporate the concepts explored in the AIM grant. 




With their AIM award, Dr. Shadi Dayeh, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Sharona Ben-Haim, Neurosurgery and Dr. Eric Halgren, Radiology were able to expand their capabilities from a 1024 ch to 2048 ch and used the 2048 ch system to record from the first patient in the Summer of 2020. The team also received a $2.37 million dollar from NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Co-founding earlier this year NeuroEmod LLC, they also plan to submit SBIRs to the NSF and NIH in the Winter cycle.


Dr. Jeanne Townsend, Research on Autism and Development Laboratory at UC San Diego, and Dr. Leanne Chukoskie, Associate Director for the Research on Autism and Development Laboratory and also the Director of the Power of NeuroGaming Center at UC San Diego used their AIM award to further develop and test software programs that are beneficial to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition that affects 1 in 54 individuals.  Specifically, they sought to expand the reach of their technology into younger populations as well as those struggling with attention challenges but who do not have an ASD diagnosis.



These individuals may have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which currently impacts approximately 8% of all children, or maybe struggling with attention due to overwhelming stress.  The team is pursuing a strategy to make attention training available equitably through the educational system via a local company BrainLeap Technologies Inc., while also seeking more evidence of efficacy in specific clinical populations through the National Institutes of Health.



Funding has been critical to continued research, product development, and commercialization efforts for
Dr. Timothy Mackey, Global Health. His team is working with the World Wildlife Fund and Microsoft to explore other use cases of UC San Diego developed technologies, including application to wildlife trafficking, detecting corruption, and detection of counterfeit goods. 



By working alongside committed health and physical sciences development partners, there is the opportunity to translate even more novel ideas into impactful products.  AIM advances the university's commitment to generating publications and contributing to new research tools that facilitate the future success of ambitious projects. We look forward to welcoming the 2021 cohort - assisting more teams and launching more startups than ever before. If you have a new idea or invention, review the steps and FAQ here.


Interested in bringing your innovation to market? For questions contact 

OIC will support and fund teams and projects in the program who have met the criteria for funding guidelines. To view past awardees, visit our Pre-Company Technology page.