U-M-BICI Collaboratory

The U-M-BICI Collaboratory (“Collaboratory”) is a joint program of U-M and the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI). BICI is a non-profit institute jointly established in 2014 by 14 Chinese universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University. Its mission is to conduct research, commercialize advanced technologies, and cultivate innovative talents.

BICI established its first program with U-M in 2016, commercializing later-stage technologies, and a second program in 2018, sponsoring earlier-stage research of larger scope. These two programs were merged in 2019 to form the U-M-BICI Collaboratory. Under the Collaboratory, BICI sponsors and helps commercialize U-M research in a broad range of areas — including engineering, health, science, and the environment — through small Exploratory and larger Regular project sponsorship.


  • Create new intellectual property and advance promising discoveries for the marketplace
  • Generate benefits for the U-M and BICI communities
  • Foster long-term and sustainable collaboration between U-M and BICI


  • Inventions; patents; commercial partnerships; startup companies; follow-on funding targeted toward these same outcomes.

Unique Features

  • Provides financial, marketization, and start-up support throughout the innovation and commercialization lifecycle, helping fill gaps in the translational research and new venture ecosystems, and helping promising technologies avoid languishing on the shelf.
  • Offers Exploratory research funding with no intellectual property obligations. Technologies developed from Regular projects will have priority to be licensed by BICI for further development and commercialization. 
  • Assists faculty in translating research into marketable products by carrying out its own market and competitive landscape due diligence.
  • Provides access to BICI’s network and platform with industry to streamline the commercialization process.
  • May be used for tuition and IP filing costs.
  • Proposals are accepted or solicited on a rolling basis and during occasional calls for proposals (see Proposal Management).