Situated in one of the country’s leading research universities, the Innovation Center is a collaboration, education and incubation center embedded in the University of Illinois at Chicago. We initiate programs and participate in activities that bridge research and education with industry. During each engagement, companies, educators, experts and students collaborate on real world problems and deliver real world results.

Catalyst for discovery.

The Innovation Center is a community of industry entrepreneurs and academic researchers working in partnership to instigate breakthroughs: fusing the uncommon, taking risks, thinking big.


At the UIC Innovation Center we leverage the holistic and inter-disciplinary nature of design to cut across research and move projects from research to development. Often times this is characterized as “design thinking”, or more concretely cross-domain synthesis. From technology to socio-cultural perspectives we can help a partner understand the likely areas of most value and with them define the best way to move forward.

The Innovation Center’s mission is to produce Innovation and Innovators through 3 approaches to engagement.

Bring industry thought leaders together with university experts to seed innovative thinking and to enable collaboration in design, technology, products, services, and business models.

Our interdisciplinary educational mission seeks to engage faculty and students in close collaboration with corporate partners to develop and commercialize new products.

Support innovation activities though the use of the innovation center facilities, capabilities and financial support.


User-centered (Ethnographic) Research
Design Planning
Process & Methods
Product Development
Innovation Education
Digital & Physical Prototyping
Interaction Design
Human Factors

Who We Are

The core team at the UIC Innovation Center has broad and deep collective experience in design and design related fields including service design, innovation planning, and strategic prototyping. We have bridged the gap of research and development in start-up, mid-sized, and large corporations. We have done it as directors, consultants, and as educators.