In 2016, U-M entered a master research agreement with BICI to form the M-BEST (U-M-BICI Engineering, Health and Science Translational) Program, a.k.a. Partnership Program. The Partnership Program focused on late-stage commercialization of near-market-ready technologies, “translating” research to market. In 2018, U-M added the U-M-BICI Global Collaboratory in Advanced Manufacturing, focusing on earlier-stage, longer-term, larger research projects that held promise of advanced technological leadership. These two programs were merged in early 2019 to form the U-M-BICI Collaboratory under the model of Exploratory and Regular projects. For more on the Collaboratory’s focus areas and proposal submission process, see Proposal Management. The U-M administrative offices for the Collaboratory are housed in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

BICI funds the operation of the U-M-BICI Collaboratory and its Exploratory projects and makes available generous support for qualified Regular projects: 

Fund + Incubator

BICI is a platform for collaborative innovation founded by bringing together 14 top Chinese universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Southern University of Science and Technology of China, with more than 100 industry-leading companies, such as BOE Technology Group and ENN Energy Holdings. BICI has technical innovation units as well as venture investment units.
Our Mission
Creating an innovation system to ensure the success of technology commercialization

Focusing on creating an innovation system, BICI takes an open and collaborative approach to pursuing a strategy that provides technical support, funding, operational services, and other market resources to ensure successful commercialization of early-stage technologies.

BICI exists to serve as a technology innovation center for large companies as well as a product innovation center for small companies. We strive to become a hub for breeding original technologies and promoting technological achievements.

Where We Are
Beijing, China and Santa Clara, California

Headquartered in Beijing, BICI has also established a U.S. branch in Santa Clara, CA, as well as commercialization bases in Baotou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Handan. BICI-USA sponsors and manages collaboratories at Stanford University, Northwestern University, and Cornell University, as well as University of Michigan.

Collaborative Innovation Park
100 acre state-of-the-art Beijing Collaborative Innovation Park

A 100-acre, state-of-the-art Beijing Collaborative Innovation Park is under constructionUpon completion, a complex of 600,000 square meters will serve as a base camp for entrepreneurs and innovators to carry out R&D, incubate companies, and set up operational headquarters.

Current Focus Areas
18 Innovation Centers under 5 Divisions

BICI has five divisions: Advanced Manufacturing, Electronics and IT, Materials, Environment and Energy, and Life Sciences. 

Consequently, the U-M-BICI Collaboratory is a unique research sponsorship vehicle:

Support through every stage of commercialization

  • Funding and services follow and support PIs from analytical studies or proof-of-concept to IPO, starting at any stage along the way
  • The Collaboratory contains features of traditional research sponsorship (especially Exploratory projects), early-and-late stage commercialization program (providing early money and commercialization guidance), angel investor, and venture capitalist

Funding flexibility

  • Unlike most commercialization programs, BICI can fund tuition and intellectual property filing costs
  • Though the Collaboratory targets certain technologies, it can sponsor a wide array of research outside those foci if they have commercial potential

China market access

  • Opportunity to reach customer and patient market of 1.4 billion people
  • No-cost China market research
  • Relationships and connections for China clinical trials, managerial talent, prototype and production manufacturing, China regulatory approvals, seed and Series A-C investors, channel entry, and sales

Not a “competition,” but a partnership

  • The number of projects funded is based on the quality of the ideas, societal need, and business cases, not a pre-determined number of “winners”
  • BICI becomes a partner, as invested in the long-term success of your research and technology as you are